This is a picture of Theo, my basset hound. I took the picture a while ago, but I could probably take the same picture every evening. Every night I sit in this same chair and Theo comes and puts his head between my knees with this expression of longing in his eyes. I have no idea what he wants!
I try to take him out and he follows me to the door but won’t go outside. I invite him to sit in my lap, but he doesn’t want that these days. I’m kind of ok with that. At 50+ pounds, he’s a big dog! So I reach down to pet him and he pulls away. He wants something. I know he does. I just don’t know what it is. He probably wants ice cream, but I’m not giving him that! It’s not good for him.
I sometimes wonder if we appear this way to God. We sigh. We frown in frustration. We stare off into space, but do we articulate what we need? And are we willing to let God choose not to give us our hearts desire because it’s may do us more harm than good?
Years ago, when I worked in the Sturgis church, I had an elder I worked closely with who periodically would come into my office, plot down in a chair and say, “State your needs. I can’t help you if I don’t know what you need.” I learned over time that she was serious. She wanted to know what I needed to make fruitful ministry happen and if she could help, she would. And if she couldn’t help, she’d just say so.
So over the years, I’ve tried to do the same with God. I try to state my needs rather than simply offering up a wish list of desire, or simply sighing in frustration. Then I leave my needs in God’s hands to help me as makes sense to God.
In Phil 4: 6-7, we read: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God be with you,
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