Before I say anything else I need to make a statement about faith. When Dr. Keathley was at Coats Baptist Church he talked about faith as an action word, not a passive word. Faith is not believing the bungee cord will hold you; faith is jumping from the bridge and trusting the bungee cord to hold you. And so, for the purposes of this article I am using faith and trust as synonyms.
I have a new hero in the faith. His name is Winston and he is our family dog. Some may argue that he is Amy’s dog. Some may even say he is a stand in for children that have grown up and moved out. But at the heart of it, he is our family dog.
Winston is in no way perfect, much like I am not. But Winston excels in two areas where I strive to be better – love and trust.
Winston’s love for the members of our family is evidenced in many ways. From boys dressing him up as Darth Vader or using him as a pillow when laying on the couch, to his faithful following of Amy through the house. He has even been known to push his way into the bathroom, just to make sure he knows who is in there. Winston loves us well.
But recently Winston developed a sore on his right foreleg. After a few days of licking it, the sore was getting worse. And so, we had to dig out the dreaded “Cone of Shame”. For those of you not familiar with this term I have included the picture below:
As you can see, Winston is not particularly thrilled with his new accessory. And frankly we are not either. It is terrible. He is constantly catching it on things or having trouble getting around in the house because his vision is limited.
However, Winston patiently accepts having the cone placed around his neck. He also accepts the medicine applied to his leg without hesitation.
While Winston loves us well, he also trusts us. We have no way of making Winston understand this horrid plastic collar is an act of love. He simply trusts us and accepts what comes.
I am reminded of a few Bible verses. In Isaiah 55:9 the Lord tells us, “…My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Just like we put the cone on Winston out of love and concern for him, how often does our Lord place us in uncomfortable circumstances out of His love for us? Do we trust Him in these times? Or do we scratch at the collar wondering, “where is He” and “why is this happening to us”?
Can we be like Job in Job 13:15a when he said, “Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him”? Or Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Daniel 3:17 when they said, “If the God we serve exists, then He can rescue us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He can rescue us from the power of you the king. But even if He does not rescue us, we want you as king to know that we will not server your gods or worship the gold statue you set up”?
I find myself seeing in Winston an understanding of love and trust I pray I have towards our Father in heaven. I want to have such trust, such faith, in Him that no matter what comes my way I will trust Him. Because He loves me.