Of Puppies, Prayer, and Expectation
Last night, my nine-month-old puppy (Pippi Longstocking is a Shih Tzu/Maltese mix), reminded me of the incredible potential that prayer holds to move the heart of God. For several nights now, I have been putting her away in her kennel for the night, though her customary routine is to sleep beside my pillow (or on my pillow, or nearly on my head, whichever suits her fancy best). More than one night after putting her in her kennel downstairs, the sound of her crying has kept me awake, and I’ve climbed down the stairs and brought her to bed with me. But last night, she decided to take charge of the situation long before bedtime.
I was downstairs going through my routine of getting ready for the night (it takes me over an hour to get through the whole process). I noticed that Pippi, the little people-lover, person-follower, was nowhere to be seen. When I went upstairs to put some things away, I found Pippi, looking up at me as she stood beside my side of the bed, as if expecting me to put her in her customary sweet spot. There was not a toy in sight and she wasn’t destroying anything. Obviously, when she realized I’d started my nightly schedule she quickly made her way to my bed, stood her ground, and was expecting me to allow her to sleep with me. If she hadn’t known my character, she might have dutifully made her way to her kennel, knowing that’s where I was dooming her for the night. But the moment I saw her expectation, I broke into laughter and decided to change her location for the night. Her persistence and expectation had moved my heart and she happily rested in her usual abode.
I was stirred again at the thought of our Heavenly Father’s perception of his children. He longs for us to be persistent. “He delights in our oft coming to him.” He waits for us to expect him to move. I think that too often, we make our way to the kennel, too downhearted or discouraged to bother standing by the bed; too consumed in our circumstances to expect God to do something about it.
This week, as my church and school commence revival, I choose to “stand by the bed,” wait for God, and expect him to offer answers to long-prayed prayers. This might be the time when He accomplishes something “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.”
Photo credit: The Pippi Longstocking beside my bed a few months ago.