The Favorite

“I can’t believe this is not even a dream.”

Lauren tugged her seat-belt around her neck to click it fastened without breaking her gaze with the fluffy ball of puppy sitting on my lap as we drove out of the school pick up line. After years of campaigning, Cherry the golden-doodle had just made Lauren’s long awaited puppy dream come true.

“I can’t believe this is not even a dream.”

I stumbled around the house half-soaked in puppy pee at 4AM, fumbling to flip on every light to illuminate the leash that had vacated it’s convenient spot by the door. Yanked out of my warm bed and into the snow, the full struggle of what I’d anticipated began to sink into my ice cold toes.

image“I will train you, and I will be the favorite,” I mused, seeking redemption for my husband’s ranking with the last family pet.

Puppy training is so incredibly similar to tiny people training. Sleep deprived. Pressed for patience. Tongue tied and tired and prone to tears. Bitten in the knees and scratched in the face. Being the “favorite” was exhausting. How many times does life bite back at us like that, in sinking defeat when our physicality fails us…

The responsibility that resides alongside favoritism is a calling we cannot conform to unaccompanied.

“Didn’t the lady say to keep extending her time in the crate?” my husband asked. Those words were written on a tip sheet on my desk the whole time…buried underneath my puppy agenda. Thankful he braved my madness, a wave of relief washed over me as I latched the door shut.

imageThe truth we hide in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) will pierce through insecurities and put our doubts in the crate. Be encouraged that we weren’t made to accomplish it alone. Let’s open God’s “tip sheet,” and uncover some Biblical truth.  After all, it’s been sitting here the whole time.

1. I’ve got this, because God’s got me.

I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you.”

Let’s learn forward by looking back. David, the author of this verse, undoubtedly leaned on prayer for his survival. This one in particular he prayed as a dad, looking back at the end of his life in preparation to crown his son, Solomon.

“In Hebrew,’will’ can be translated ‘rason,’ a word that expresses an individual’s personal desires, wants, or will.”It’s used to describe God’s will in the NIV translation, or a battle of wills among two people. (Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary.) Click “Study This”

David was pleased to please God. He wasn’t just obedient because he felt he had to be. From the deepest crack in his heart, David willed to want God’s will.

“And it is hard to say which shines brighter here, the setting sun or the rising sun….He was neither proud of his own good work nor envious of the good works of others.”Matthew Henry’s Commentary

David didn’t always act favored, but He felt God’s favoritism in his heart. God is faithful to remind me not to plant my feet on the mark of my own ambitions, abilities, or the approval of others. Each morning, the message is… “Get your heart, right, favorite.”

image

2. The battle has already been won. Just breathe.
David knew that his joy came from the honest relationship he maintained with God, knowing that He was all that he needed. David’s life reflected the honest, open-hearted relationship that God still desires to maintain with us to this day. Accept we don’t have to kill animals and rely on priests to carry our message….because of Jesus we can now go straight to God with our lives. We can call Him, Dad, and pour our tears down in prayer…lift our arms up in praise. He is with us…right here..accessible…because of Jesus.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

God created us in His image and incapable of doing life without Him. Oh, we can try. We can keep taking the puppy out to pee every fifteen minutes. Or we can put it in the crate and save everyone’s sanity.

God will always send a person, a song, a word, or a scene from His artwork as a sign that He loves us. The author of Chronicles took two books of the Bible to address the cry of God’s people after the reign of King David and his son King Solomon had passed…and they were left in destruction, defeat, and nomadic once again, wondering…
“Is God still interested in us?” (NIV Study Notes)

We feel that way, don’t we? When we’ve drifted so far into the hurt of our hearts that we can’t remember what He said He would do with our lives. Maybe you’ve never heard Him at all.

“I’ve never known life without kitty,” my daughter muttered sporadically after the loss of our furry feline family member.

The loss to my husband and I was way more devastating than we thought it would be, but to my seven-year old, her life shifted a little as she learned lean into the Lord to heal. When I glance over at Cherry, sleeping smack on her back just like Blizzard did, it reminds me that God is faithful to heal and restore. And my little girl is glued to new life in endless puppy cuddles.

God was still interested in His people back then, and beyond: “God’s grace and love for the restored community did not begin with David or the exodus-but with creation.” NIV Study Notes.

He’s interested. Grace, love, and restoration were ours for the grabbing before creation. Loss and loneliness are rampant parts of our realities. Enter despair, hobbling up the front steps. These truths arm us to stop it at the door.
#favorite

image God is accessible through Jesus Christ. That’s what the cross is all about. Put your puppies in the crate…give your worries to God. Set down your scrambling and pick up Jesus’ hand. He’s holding it out, lovingly shaking his head, waiting for you to give up and grab on.

You can’t do it alone, because you weren’t created to.

Let your Father be your Father…His Son will light your way…This Lent, journey to the cross. (Never heard His voice? Hearing it now? Start here.)

 

Happy puppy training…oh, wait…that’s me…prayers, please.

Megs

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28 thoughts on “The Favorite

  1. Meg,
    Thank you for these precious reminders! (and the cute puppy pics, too!)
    Your love and commitment to the Kingdom radiate through your words!
    Blessings to you!
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meg, I love how you connect God’s care for us to even the most mundane jobs, like taking care of puppy pee! He’s active in and through each of our days and nights, whatever they may look like. Enjoy the adorable pooch. From your neighbor at #livefreeThursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Megs!
    What a great story and how much illustration material came from your life with Cherry! This was a delight to read, but more so because you get to do the training and I get to enjoy the adorable pics and the great teaching!! Even so, I commend you for jumping into the fray and helping Cherry learn those necessary skills that will make Cherry even more enjoyable! God bless!
    Visiting as your neighbor on the Coffee for Your Heart Linkup today!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This…”David didn’t always act favored, but He felt God’s favoritism in his heart. God is faithful to remind me not to plant my feet on the mark of my own ambitions, abilities, or the approval of others.” So good, Meg! We have to remind ourselves that God adores us and is beside us, even if we don’t feel like it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love seeing Cherry pics, Meg. She is such a cutie. I promise all the hard work in the beginning pays off. Plus you get the reward of puppy kisses to keep you going. : )
    But the assurance of knowing “I’ve got this because God’s got me” is a truth to hold deep in our hearts when sleep fills our eyes or there’s a tremble in our steps. Thank you for the reminder, friend. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Crystal! I promise I won’t be able to help but keep the puppy pics circulating…she’s the sweetest little blessing! Her cute little kisses do make up for all the “No’s.” Blessings, friend!
      Happy Tuesday!!!
      Megs

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m a first-time visitor, your neighbor at the RaRaLinkUp and so love your site, your pics, your pup and your wonderful words. “Put the puppies in the crate – give your worries to God!”. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! Thank you for visiting!!! Isn’t it so fun to discover other great writers through link-ups?!?! It’s one more way for God to break through the static of our lives! Welcome! Welcome! And blessings for your encouragement!
      Happy Tuesday!!!
      Megs

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh sister, do I feel your pain!! We have a 5 month old Red Fox Lab and as cute as he is, he loves to eat everything.in.sight. Except shoes and my furniture- Praise the Lord!! He knew my tolerance level! =)) I love that you mentioned..”The battle is already been won…Just breathe.” My natural tendency in most situations is to fight. But God is so faithfully teaching me to rest in Him- surrender is where it’s at. Linking up with you at Open Mic Monday! Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! Wishing you a great week, too! Isn’t that crazy how we jump to the defense instead of letting God defend us. So true!! Oh, it’s good to know I’m not alone on the puppy front… I am dreading the chewing!!! She’s 9 weeks… I have a long road to go with the chewing!!
      Happy Monday!!!
      Megs

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! Isn’t if funny how quickly we forget what we know? I sat in a class on prayer last night and the pastor suggested that worry should be a trigger to prayer. I loved that!! Have a blessed day!!
      Megs

      Like

  8. My goodness…the new puppy looks so sweet! Sweet but challenging at this time. “God is faithful to remind me not to plant my feet on the mark of my own ambitions, abilities, or the approval of others. Each morning, the message is… “Get your heart, right, favorite.”” Every morning, every moment is a moment of surrender, isn’t it? And our days can be sweet and challenging but we know He has got it. And can breathe. Thank you for your words today!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. YES! Amen. What a great post. Just what I needed this morning. I have a 8-month old Bullmastiff and sleeping through the night has been non existent. It’s time for puppy training I think. He also will not go outside until we’ve loved his big face, scratched his ginormous belly and kissed him between the eyeballs. Only then will he go outside to use the bathroom. At 3am, it’s not exciting. Trust me. LOL. I love how this speaks to me about being a #favorite of the most high. I am also my puppies favorite and that hold such a huge responsibility. The same way that being God’s favorite holds with it much responsibility and diligence. Thank you for this exciting, uplifting, and encouraging post. I love how God works in the little things in our lives to show us just how awesome and wondrous he is. Jesus is my refuge in times of celebration and in times of no.sleep.tonight times. Have a wonderful weekend, Megs. His love and light are radiant in you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Carolina! We are in the puppy trenches together! I seriously don’t know where my day goes! The puppy adjustment is real! Lol!! Thanks for being a positive light of encouragement in my life! #favorites!!!
      Happy Saturday!!!
      Megs

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amen and LOL…I love your blog…I too have a Golden and he’s almost six months. I never had an inside pet until now and I had to potty train Jack as well. My Bible study time in the morning took a fast curve around him and his schedule. I found myself praying “Lord, I know that you are in control of everything, please let that puppy sleep”:) You’re right that God has the answers in His Word for every situation:)
    I recently started blogging as a means of encouraging others, I invite you to check out my site and if interested please follow me back. I have several blogs with my puppy Jack too that I think that you will smile at as well. I believe that it is important to support each other on this site as we all are trying to build up His kingdom.
    If you do check out my blog, be sure to look for Obedience with easy cheese:) Jack’s behavior is the lesson:) LOL
    Thanks so MUCH for your sweet blog and keep up the great effort for the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi sweet friend! Thank you for visiting my blog and offering support in my writing and my puppy woes! So sweet! I will check out your advice and encouragement as soon as I get a chance to get caught up on my reading. Isn’t the encouragement of fellow writers awesome?! Souls for the Lord! Whoop!
      Happy Sunday!
      Megs

      Liked by 1 person

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