As most of you know, I own three Havanese. And as most of you can guess, their absolute favorite thing is to be fed, especially if said meal includes broth, buttermilk, eggs, or chicken. They’re big fans of the chicken.
Last summer I bought this cute little wooden stand that holds three stainless steel food dishes. I like it for a few reasons, one of which is that it helps keep my dogs from sliding and spilling their food all over my bedroom floor in their eagerness for breakfast. That can become a little chaotic sometimes… especially if there’s chicken involved.
I’ve also added another thing to our mealtime routine to help prevent chaos. I fill their dishes with whatever goodies they may happen to get for breakfast, set the bowls down in that cute little flea-market-found dog bowl holder, and say “Wait.”
And then I step back. By now my dogs know the drill and understand what is expected of them… so no matter how great that chicken smells they will each sit, look up at me, and wait. Sometimes they are more patient then other times, but I never give them permission until I have their full attention and obedience.
Am I a mean puppy mommy in making them wait? They don’t seem to think so, even though they don’t understand why I’m doing it. When they look up at me it’s with an excited expectancy. They know I will let them go for it any second now, because I have never disappointed them or teased them with something they can’t have. They trust me.
I realized the other night how this (very) simplistic picture of trust and patience can really be an example to me. There have often been times when I have wanted my chicken right away (okay, am I taking that analogy too far now? ;-)) and didn’t trust or heed my heavenly Father’s greater plan.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
Even when I may not fully understand why he may be asking me to wait for any given thing, I do understand the importance of learning to trust the Father to give me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. When I push ahead of him, it can cause chaos, damage, and pain in me and those around me.
God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Hebrews 6:8-12
I am learning to have true patience and trust the Father to open and close doors when his time is right. He will never disappoint or tease me with something I can’t have, and what he does have in store is so completely perfect for me and everyone around me as well. He wants to give us that chicken. (Sorry, I just did it again.) But we have to have patience and let him bless us with it.