We recently added another dog to the mix. Mocha, a chocolate lab, joined our family last Sunday and I could tell already that there are going to be a whole lot of lessons exchanged between us. Adam the mailman, Bruce the UPS guy, her breeder, friends on Facebook have all said she’s going to be big….”look at those paws, that head.” Gulp!!! She’s sweet and busy and nippy and vocal and stubborn and smart and teachable. I’m all those things too so I’m up for the challenge. Today I glanced over at her as she was sleeping and twitching away and as I marveled at how big she was already at 9 weeks, I heard the Lord say, “don’t let the outside fool you, she’s just a baby…be patient.”
That comment resonated in my spirit. Outward appearances can fool us. That person who seemingly has it all together, is altogether wrecked and no one seems to notice and the ones who get close enough to know the deal, don’t want to know the details…be patient. That daughter, whose outside screams that she’s a woman is still a child becoming a woman, subject to the same disappointments and feelings, but lacking the experience and knowledge to navigate her world…be patient; that church member, newly saved and knowing everything…uh, yeah…still a baby…be patient! Even though Mocha is pretty big for her age…GULP; even though at 6 months…maybe even at 3 months, she’ll be strong enough to take me down, I can’t be moved (well I can, but not in that way)…I need to remember that she’s still a baby and while I must be firm and unbending where her training is concerned, I must also be patient.
The one thing I have learned about patience is that you don’t ask for it, unless you are prepared for every devil in hell posing as your boss, your neighbor and your loved one to be unleashed against you to test it and, well, you just have to pass!! You should also expect to be tested in traffic, at the grocery store…even your appliances and – ahem, your computer will play a role in your testing. You can’t pass a test unless you’re tested, right? I’ve been a pretty good student of patience. I say student because I have witnessed the fruit of it, but can confidently say that I will always be minding that garden. I’ve been able to clip the lip, but you should see what’s going on in my head…those “murderous thoughts,” (not really murder, maybe just inflicting injury); the toe tapping (yes, in my head); the white knuckling, lip biting, deep breathing, counting…1, 2, 3…you feel me? James 1:4 says “But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be (people) perfectly and fully developed (with no defects), lacking in nothing.” So, if I give patience permission to do its thing, I can expect to be perfectly developed, with no defects and lacking nothing and those around me from my puppy to that baby in church will greatly benefit and I will maintain my perfect peace because I’m perfectly patient!.
Lord, perfect my patience…Uh oh!
I just have to say…this the second time I wrote this blog. The first one…”error message…deleted unretrievable.” You see what I mean? OY!!!!