The other day my husband was cutting up beef to make jerky and Carrie, our little sausage dog was dancing around the kitchen begging for scraps.
She must have been very confused when we wouldn’t give her any. She knows we often give her scraps, she could tell from the smell that these would taste good and she was begging in her most adorable way. So why were no delicacies falling to the floor?
Because we know something Carrie doesn’t know. We know that she is allergic to beef and if we give her any she will come up in a nasty rash on her belly and scratch like mad, keeping herself and us awake at night. Eventually I will have to give her cortisone, which is not good for her liver, and too much will shorten her lifespan considerably.
It made me think, I have the same dilemma with God sometimes. I want something I’m sure is good, I know He loves me and gives me good things, I am asking repeatedly, as He has instructed, but He keeps refusing.
Carrie can’t understand what could possibly be wrong with giving her beef but she has to trust that if we don’t do it there must be a good reason for it. And her begging, sulking or acting up is not going to change our decision. Even if we tried to explain it to her, there is no way she could understand. In the same way, I have to trust God that if His answer to my prayer is “no”, there will be a very good reason for that, even if I never get an answer to my “why?”.
Just as our reasoning is more complicated and intelligent than Carrie’s, so God says in Isaiah 55:9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Humbling isn’t it? May we demonstrate towards God, the same dog-like faith that Carrie has towards me; judging our Master’s actions in light of a character we know to be good, rather than judging our master’s character by seemingly “unkind” actions we don’t understand, and maybe don’t even have the capacity to understand.