God’s Gentle Reminders

mccarrol-youth-group-075I was discouraged.

Every time that something wonderful happens, every time that I can really see God changing people right before my eyes, every time that I feel like I am making a difference, something breaks.

This time it was our truck.  This vehicle is the life-blood of our operation.  We are constantly hauling stuff; from horses to hay and this truck is the only means we have to pull the necessary trailers. 

We had just had an amazing weekend.  We had a youth group come for a weekend retreat.  These kids were wonderful.  We shared our horses  with them and got to see in their faces how much it had meant to them. That they had learned to see Jesus in ways that they hadn’t before.  It was one of the most encouraging times I have ever experienced. 

It was the next day.

We were driving to pick up my son’s birthday present, an English Shepherd pup that he had been begging us for. winchester

We noticed smoke coming from the tailpipe.   The truck started to shudder and almost died.

This continued for the next twenty miles until we pulled in the driveway and then it gave up the ghost and quit.

My first feeling was thankfulness that we made it home and were not stranded somewhere on the highway, in the middle of the prairie, out of cell phone range, hitching a ride on a passing cattle truck.

The next thought was, “What are we going to do about this?” 

We have no money to pay for what I know will be an extensive repair bill. 

“How will we pay our other bills if we pay for this?  How will the bank not foreclose on our house and kick us out onto the street!”

Okay, that’s a little overboard, but really not that far from where my mind was going. 

This is why God knew that I needed the wife He gave me. 

She looks at me very calmly and, knowing what I am thinking, even though I haven’t given voice to it all, says, “God hasn’t given you the strength to deal with tomorrow yet; lets see what we need to do today.”

This does very little to help.

I want to be discouraged.  I want to be miserable for a little while.  I want to wallow in it and let it consume me.  So I do.

I am cranky with my kids when they get home.  I allow the pleasure of giving a precious gift to my son to be tainted with my melancholy.  All in all, I don’t have a very good day.

Later that night I sit and watch a baseball game.  Everyone else is in bed.  I don’t pay a lot of attention to the game.  I am starting to realize that I have made stupid choices in allowing a problem to overwhelm me.  I start to feel apologetic.  That’s when it happens.

Bandit, my faithful 150-pound Saint Bernard, walks over and lays down, putting her head in my lap.  I can no longer see my legs.  She looks up at me and I see my wife’s wise words from earlier echoed there.bandit2

“You don’t have enough grace for tomorrow, only for today.”

I get the point.  As I sit there, I scratch her ears and commit to apologies that have to be made to my family in the morning. 

 I have a chat with God that has me on the very humbled end, and I start to feel better.  The misery seeps away as I allow God to lift me back up. 

And soon I am ready to start fresh the next morning.

I look down at my girl’s head on my lap.  Her eyes are closed as I continue to scratch her ears.  I realize that I can no longer feel my feet and I need her to move.  I stop scratching.  She looks at me without moving her head. 

Finally she lets out a long sigh when she realizes that I won’t start scratching again and gets up and walks away.

I watch her walk away, thankful that God gave her to me to give me gentle reminders. Thankful that I have been able to see Him work in my life, that I can feel myself drawing closer to Him.

Then I look down.

My lap is completely covered in dog drool.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 10:00 am  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’m praying for you guys. Praise the Lord, not because of the trials you’re going through, but because I’m being overwhelmed with different things and the Bible verse was(is) God’s way of helping me snap out of “it” this morning and quit feeling a bit sorry for myself.

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