The middle of this and that. Did you ever feel yourself sitting in between two ways in which to walk, the old and familiar and the new and possibly more exciting?
The old and familiar feels like a comfortable old shoe. The new, however, is exciting, unknown, and fun to wear. Some of our circumstances in life bring about the best in us. Others well, they just wash away our smile, enthusiasm and joy. I think we have all felt that way as we walk through life. Even as I observed our two dogs, sometimes they wake up filled with such joy and excitement and other times they get up slowly and wander outside. What makes the difference?
What I have observed from our dogs is the excitement they express related to the questions that I ask them. They look and wonder, “Are we going with you today?” Or “Do we stay home?” If I say, “Want to go for a walk or a ride in the van?”, they jump with joy and run all over the house barking and barking, running and leaping with excitement and joy. If they see me get dressed and I don’t say a word, they wonder and hang around just waiting for the words; ride or walk. If I say, “I’m going to the store”, they just look as if to say, “Oh all right, guess we are not going anywhere.” They don’t realize they are better off at home but they respect me anyway. But when I do tell them to come with me, they are protected by me, even if they think they have it all together.
Why are you telling me about your dogs? You’ll see!
How many times do you find yourself praying and seeking God for a way? Which way should I precede in a situation? Why is it that though with all my heart I want to go this way, do you show me in your Word and prayer time I must stay put? How many times has God told you to do something and you stayed put and should have moved on? Or, you moved on when God told you to stay put?
I heard a teaching on Elisha. When God told him to go by the brook Cherith and the ravens would bring him food and he would stay beside a brook so that water would be available to him. (I Kings 17:1-4) Don’t you think he would have rather been in a nice cozy comfortable spot? Some place familiar? What was going to happen to him anyway sitting by the brook? But he stayed right there. He had just prophesied to Ahab and told him that a drought would come. Guess what? God placed Elisha in the right spot where he could find water, not thirst, and food would be delivered to him twice a day by ravens.
Elisha could have complained and said, this is not a good enough provision God. But, he had time to rest and relax and the stream of water was their any time he needed a drink. The ravens were his servants, bringing him food everyday. What a time. Wouldn’t some of our ladies out there like to relax and be served? So what if the servants looked like birds, who cares?
And there at the brook, Elisha sat; no friends, no TV, nothing but the sound of the brook and nature all around him. After the brook dried up, Elisha was told of God to leave that place and go and see a widow lady for his provision. (I Kings 17:9) And so Elisha obeyed and was provided food and water once again. Remember there was a drought throughout the land. But, God took care of Elisha and when the widow women helped, she also was taken care of.
What if Elisha was stubborn and didn’t want the provisions God had provided for him?
How about, if he responded with anger, hostility, complaining and just flat refused the provisions of God. He would have found himself hungry, thirsty, very sad and probably would have died. Instead he found peace, wasn’t thirsty, was fed, even when the brook dried up. God still provided for him. But he had to obey and not rely on what he wanted to do. So, Elisha still went on and was taken care of and helped others along the way and blessed them.
When my puppy dogs, Maggie and Buddy, obey what I ask them to do, they also find provisions. Their water is always available, they always have food, and they are always sitting under the protection of my love. If they didn’t, they would wander off on their own, searching for something to eat and something to drink, never finding peace and always searching for comfort and love.
As we all know, everyone that they would come across would not treat them as kindly. After all, there are many dangers out there. Good thing they have learned to obey me and respect me. Then they will be protected, provided for and loved. Who wouldn’t want to have that? By the way, my dog Buddy just loves watching T.V., especially Animal Planet. He just sits there in an overstuffed chair with his front paws crossed and doesn’t have a care in the world. Why? Because, he knows in whom he believes, trusts me and feels safe. I wonder what he is watching right now. Maybe I’d better go look. It could be something good like “Breed All About It”, or “Miracle Babies”. Well, how much more will our Father God take care of us if we will seek Him and heed His voice. When God says, “WALK” then we walk. When He says, “STAY”, then we stay. And when He says, “COME”, then we come. All the time knowing we are in His care, love and protection.
Well, I have to go right now. Buddy is watching a real good program and Maggie is hungry. Oh and yes, there is Sammy our cat. John Calls him “Mr. Fuddelbe”. Now, that is another whole story.
Until next time,
Rev. Marilyn Marinelli