I've got this really cute puppy- (for reference on her cuteness see pictures…you'll realize I'm not exaggerating.)
Her name is Maggie and she does all sorts of adorable things.
She rolls over, sits, stays, loves to cuddle, and, I swear, she understands a whole array of emotions that most humans can't even begin to comprehend.
I would highly contend that she is, in fact, the most lovable dog in the world.
Tonight as I was spending time in prayer, God reminded me of something that my sweet little Maggie does quite often. This "thing", however, is not nearly as cute and lovable as her usually well-behaved furry little personality.
When I'm home, we'll often have a classic, family favorite meal of grilled chicken.
*Maggie loves chicken bones.*
Of course, this meal ends with a stack of chicken bones being scraped on to a plate.
The plate of chicken bones usually sits somewhere in the kitchen until the dishes are done and some lucky winner gets elected to run outside to dump them in the field.
*Maggie starts devising a plan to get. those. chicken. bones.*
Somehow Maggie usually manages to sneak a bone off the plate and/or stalks the scrap-dumper and memorizes the strategic place in which the bones are scraped in the field. The next time she is let out to go potty, she runs out to the field-geographical coordinates of the chicken bones locked in her brain- and she treats herself to the yummy leftovers.
And, more often than not, I end up chasing her around the yard attempting to pull the bone out of her mouth. What Maggie doesn't remember in that moment is that she often gets these chicken bones stuck in her mouth; they often break and hurt her; or they frequently have a hard time finding a pain-free path through her digestive system.
I wish I could convince her in the heat of the moment that she has a whole bowl of food inside, that I'd love to give her a healthier/safer treat, and that she really, truly does not need this chicken bone.
And, yet, so many times, especially right now, I find myself doing the same thing with God.
I love something.
I see an opportunity to do that something.
I want to do that something.
And I start devising a plan to get. that. something.
Never mind the fact that I have more than enough and that God would even throw in more as a treat because He loves me that much. If He's not going to give me the chicken bone, I see nothing else. I have to have it.
And thankfully, God is so much more patient than I am. He doesn't run around the yard chasing me and whacking me on the butt, grabbing the chicken bone and threatening me within an inch of my life.
Nope, not God. He just patiently waits and tells me gently, "Lauren, give me that."
So, tonight I laid down a couple of my chicken bones and I surrendered them to God, knowing full well that I might never see them again, or that He could decide to break them up and give them to me in smaller pieces, or maybe that he would perfect them and make them a little safer before giving them back to me, or He might even hand them right back the way I gave them to Him.
Whatever He decides to do is up to Him, and I'm deciding to no longer run around the yard with my teeth clenched tightly to the misguided treasure that is a mere chicken bone. The ultimate treasure is relationship with Him- my owner, protector, Savior, and loving Dad. Who wouldn't gladly give up all the silly chicken bones in the world for closeness with Him?
"Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
- Proverbs 19:21