Monday, December 8, 2014

How Puppy Changed My Priorities

Yesterday, I picked up my puppy and noticed the top right side of his head was higher than the left. And then I noticed the swollen side was also tender. Since head swelling seemed ominous, I called the vet and asked him to fit us in, which he did. On the drive over, I went back and forth. Either I was imagining this whole thing or my puppy had a brain tumor.

As I sat in the exam room, waiting for the verdict, I remembered so clearly the process when my black lab was diagnosed with terminal process two and a half years ago that I couldn't think about or pray for the health of this puppy without working myself up in fear of the worst case senario. What a way to spend my day!

Back up to not long before I noticed Puppy's lumpy head. I was sitting around thinking I'd rather not go to the prayer meeting at church or to Bible study, both commitments I had made. Instead of honoring God by following through and being faithful, talking to and learning more about Him, I wanted to sit home. But as I sat in that exam room, did my priorities ever straighten themselves out in a hurry!

I should've been grateful I can do things like go to prayer and Bible study. Christians in many parts of the world can't publicly do that. They certainly can't post about it in their blogs. And Christians even in this part of the world can't do that for other reasons. Maybe they don't have transportation. Maybe their health is failing. And more than political freedom and health and other material or worldly blessings that allow me to worship my God, what about my dedication to and my relationship with God?

Are church, prayer, study, and fellowship all just things I do when it's convenient for me? And what does God think of it when I complain or resent the things I ought to do with a joyful heart?

I'm reading Malachi, and I was convicted by these verses: For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. But you say, 'What weariness this is,' and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick,
and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. (1:11-14, ESV)

The subject of the verses is about the Isrealites bringing unacceptable animals in offering to God, but it applies to our hearts today. I'm guilty of saying "what weariness this is" and then trying to offer God less of my time and energy than what I know I'm supposed to give Him. That's sin, and I'm thankful for how it was pointed out in my life.

The good news is that my puppy is fine. He does have a tender lump, probably, the vet says, from tumbling around with our other dog. The better news is, I've learned a little something about being grateful for the time I get to spend on the commitments I've made to God.

What circumstances has God used to change your perspective?

Your Sister

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