This morning, after finishing my devotions/email/blog routine, I sat in bed pondering whether I should eat breakfast before or after showering. My musings were interrupted by the scrabble of tiny claws against my door, and I knew I had my answer. You see, my parents own a Maltese: six pounds of masculine pride and canine earnestness rolled into a fluffy, white package. If Tigger was at my door, it meant that my mother was in the shower and it was my turn to watch the dog.
Tigger is a bit . . . quirky. As a puppy, he was left in a locked car in the middle of summer and nearly died of heatstroke before being rescued. He eventually recovered, but he was severely oxygen deprived, and things have never been quite right since. In some ways, he’s quite clever. In others, he’s a bit slow.
Maybe it’s his “quirks” or maybe it’s just doggy nature, but Tigger lives in a world that he obviously doesn’t understand. For instance, he knows that when I visit my parents, I sleep in a particular bedroom. However, he seems to believe that I sometimes magically appear inside the bedroom at night, so if he’s bored or lonely, he’ll scratching at the door, begging me to come out, even if I haven’t been home in months. My parents have to let him in the room and allow him investigate all the nooks and crannies (including the closet and under the bed) before he understands that I’m not there. Consequently, when he comes to scratch at my bedroom door and I actually open it, he gets incredibly excited. Even though I know there is predictability to my behavior, to Tigger it is one of life’s great mysteries.
As I watched my parents’ dog run ecstatic circles around my feet this morning, I realized that God must feel much the same way about me. God has never actually placed me in a situation I couldn’t handle. He has never left me without an answer, without direction, or without help. Sometimes the answer wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Sometimes the direction was one I didn’t expect. Sometimes the help came later than I was really comfortable with. But it always came, and in the long run, it was always right. Despite this pattern of reliability, I am perpetually afraid that this will be the time God drops the ball. This will be the time he forgets about me. This will be the time the answer is wrong or too late or doesn’t come at all. Because I don’t understand the reasons, because I can’t see the patterns, I find it hard to trust God to come through.
This is the kind of prayer people warn you not to pray, but Lord, help me remember that I don’t have to be afraid or uncertain of the future. Help me, instead, to have faith that you will be there at the right time with exactly what I need.