Psalm 33:3 (NLT)
3 Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
So, we were entrusted with our neighbors dog, their family pet (we’ll call him Dog), while they went on vacation eight hours away by plane. Dog and our dogs get along very well, romping, chasing squirrels, jealously guarding their bones while stealing the other dogs bones, seeing who could be most annoying and cute, etc. They aren’t small dogs either.
All was good until New Years Eve when they woke us up at 11:30 p.m. and said they had to go out. OK, one last pee, sure. Go figure, Dog and one of ours (the one that doesn’t usually take off) took off. Temperature outside was -12f. Windchill advisory to go with the cold temps. Really? Is 2018 going to be a repeat of 2016 and 2017?
Our dog shows up 2 hours later without his buddy. We’ve been driving the neighborhood calling for the dogs, go out again. At 3:00, my wife lays down in the kitchen incase Dog comes home. In 4 hours our neighbors will be back in the states changing flights and I get to tell them we lost their dog, then I’m picking them and their kids up at the airport a few hours later. Joy. Hi guys, welcome home. Yep, we lost Dog while you were gone. Joy.
Spent new years day looking for Dog, tracking tracks that could have been dog, coyote, wolf, who knows what. No Dog. All the pounds, animal control, shelters, etc. are closed. Warmed up to -5f. Joy.
4:00 a.m., Jan. 2nd, Dog shows up on our back step and says “Hi, I’m back!!! Wanna let me in?” Joy! Real joy and relief.
What’s the point? Needless to say, we were praying for Dog to return. Partly out of not wanting to be responsible for the hurt in our neighbors family, partly for the safe return of dog, partly out of empathy because we know what it’s like to lose family members, be it people or pets. We prayed.
It’s amazing that God allows us to pray to him, actually encourages it. It’s even more amazing that He listens and always answers. Sometimes with a no, more often with a yes. Thank you God for bringing Dog back. As is so often the case, we quickly gave up on God and assumed that he didn’t hear our prayers. As so often is the case, he did hear and was just answering in his time. As is so often the case, his timing was perfect for a host of reasons.
As we start the new year, let’s remember that God is and ever shall be. His promises are true, he is there for us, he answers us. Not always the answer we want, but he does know better than we do and acts on that knowledge.
John 1:1 (NLT)
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He has, from the beginning of time, had a plan. He executes the plan on him timeline, not ours. He is always present and wants us to know that, to believe that, to lean into that, to trust that.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
6 “So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
His time is not our time. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. His plans are not our plans, but he has a plan. He brings lost dogs home when it’s part of his plan, and he brings us home when we come home. Always.