How a puppy reminds me
that God is enough
This is my third child, Rocko the Wheaten Terrier. Yes, his face is this cute all the time - even when he has just destroyed a book or a foam pool noodle (two of his favorites). This bundle of cuteness was technically a birthday gift to our son for his sixth birthday. He had the honor of choosing his name, which in full is Rock 'n Roll Hudson Wilson. Rocko is just a lot more efficient. I say he is "technically" my son's dog because people, this is my dog. This is my baby. Truly. I am smitten; Smitten with this ball of fur. He's like a living stuffed animal! He doesn't shed, so he is allowed on my bed and on the couch, and he loves to snuggle. Like, lays in your lap on his back with his belly up snuggly. Jumps in my bed when my alarm clock goes off to nestle into my side while I wake up, snuggly. Love, love, love this little creature.
Rocko is a sensitive little guy. I can completely relate to his neurotic fears. Yes, those sprinklers are alarming. I can understand why you wouldn't want to walk down that flight of stairs, concrete is creepy....He can be a little extreme. He is usually soothed by my reassurance and can move past his fears - though I had to carry him down that stair case! Nothing was as sad as when poor Rocko went under the knife to remove his, um, doggy parts. I'm sure being neutered wouldn't have been his choice for his doggy self, but we don't need any Rocko Hudson juniors in this world. So my sensitive baby went under the knife and everything went well, but poor Rocko was just plain bewildered by his post-surgery discomfort. That evening found him like this - hiding under the shower curtain between the toilet and the bathtub. Bless his fuzzy little heart.
We tried to reassure him that he was safe and a "good boy" but the poor little guy hid under the table for the better part of a week. Rocko seemed to equate his discomfort with being in trouble and his normal snuggly self just couldn't be found. He was relieved by our comfort for a moment, but as soon as we moved on to other things he was back under the table.
God has used animals to speak into my life since I was a child. I feel a compassion and love for them that I can find difficult to feel for other humans, or for myself. For some reason, in my mind, Rocko is innocent. His inability to understand his environment or his future gives me compassion and love for him. He didn't know why he was in pain, nor why I would have subjected him to his misery. He didn't understand that the pain was temporary and that his recovery was imminent. I imagine his bewilderment would have been eased with the knowledge that within a week he would be running freely and jumping on anyone who walked through the door again (we didn't miss that part so much).
In Rocko's bewilderment God shows me myself. I don't understand why God allows difficult circumstances in my life or why He allows my pain, even as I seek His will, favor, and blessing on a situation. I have the benefit of a thinking mind that can read His word, experience His character and seek His face through prayer, worship, wrestling, reading, repeat....yet I am still bewildered much of the time. In so many ways I hide under the table with my tail between my legs. I believe my pain means I am in trouble; clearly I have done something wrong to cause this. God looks at me with the same compassion and care that I can extend to a silly, snuggly puppy and comfort me with the reassurance of His love and goodness. Sometimes in my fear I snap at His extended hand of care. I fear He will lead me from under the table to further pain, and His love and comfort won't be enough to carry me through. I run away from Him with busyness and good works and quick fixes of physical comfort or distraction. I am confused by my pain and I want to know when it will end. In the midst of my bewilderment it is difficult to imagine I could be running and playing again one day. I fear I am stuck, and this painful state will be my existence until heaven.
So I planted a garden of hope. In a previous post I wrote of my love of the beautiful flower gardens in my neighborhood, and my lack of confidence in my brown thumb. As a gift to myself and a declaration of hope, I planted the flower garden I've been dreaming of over the last 5 years. I studied and I planned and I planted flowers that should grow well in the environment I have. They are planted on the south side of my home, the only place my yard gets the full sunshine these flowers need. I googled and researched and followed the instructions I found in hopes that these beauties will grown and thrive. I can supply the right environment, fertilized soil and the adequate water they need to grow, but my ability to support their lives ends there. I can't make these flowers grow. I give them what they need and the rest is up to them. Flowers and plants are a miracle to me. Each seed delicate and powerful, possesses the plans needed to bring growth and produce fruit! We provide the right environment and nature knows the way. Each plant represents the hope I hold that God will tend to the garden of my heart. He woos me with His love and kindness and as He plants the seeds my heart needs by meeting me through His word, in times of worship and in moments of grace, He provides the conditions for those seeds of hope need to grow and thrive.
God is enough for my bewildered heart and He calls me to believe I will run and play with Him again. He will meet us where we are today, just as He has met me through a fuzzy little puppy named Rocko. Though we are bewildered, He is not afraid. Though we snap at His hand, He does not leave our side. He's waiting for us to snuggle into His arms for comfort.
Join me there today?