Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Appreciating the day

The ad described Zoe as the perfect little companion. "She was the size of a Beanie baby" when she found her first home with a young single woman. In the intervening six years, Zoe grew to a tiny five-pound bundle of apricot hair. Her home expanded as well. A marriage and three toddlers later, she was overwhelmed.

Zoe came to our house last week and met Kirsten, our daughter. In a week, Kirsten returns to Austin with her new friend, the lovely Zoe! On days that seem long and lonely, Kirsten will have company, a little poodle who adores her. Zoe is house-trained, likes slow walks, and loves snuggling in bed with her person. At first, she curled up at Kirsten's feet, but she's gradually moved up to flop next to Kirsten. No fuss, no squirming. Perfect poodle girl!

When she arrived, her only bad habit was yelling at the top of her little lungs when someone came in the door or her person left the house. She's almost cured of that; after learning "Wait!" she sits down at the door and waits for her people to come home. She's learned to chomp raw chicken wings which sweeten her breath and fill her tummy. And she's good at walking behind us on a leash.

Kirsten is gentle but firm. Zoe wants to please more than anything else and is attention- as well as treat-motivated. Kirsten bought a rolling carrier to take Zoe home and shopped the dog store to see what else they need. Not much, it turns out.

Kirsten's roommate is a dog-lover who can't wait to meet Zoe. "You had me at the word, 'Dog,'" Jen exclaimed when Kirsten called to ask if it would be ok to bring Zoe along.

For me, it's interesting to watch the bond form between human and doggie. If Zoe was human, she might hang onto the past when arbitrarily moved from her unsafe but well-known life to Kirsten's welcome. We'd be inclined to cry out, "Oh, I remember when... How I miss..." or "Why did this happen to me?" Instead, a dog lives in the moment. Zoe has good food, lots of petting, and an adult who will care for her.

She is happy. Her whole back end wiggles with delight when Kirsten pays attention to her. She loves eating the food we give her, and is grateful for a warm place to sleep.

Oh, that we would be as appreciative and trusting when God cares for us!

Read more:
*The godly are showered with blessings. Proverbs 10:6 NLT

*Years passed, and the king of Egypt died. But the Israelites continued to groan under their burden of slavery. They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act…

Then the LORD told [Moses], "I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the power of the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own fertile and spacious land." Exodus 2:23–25; 3:7–8 NLT

*Now the people complained about their hardships in the hearing of the LORD, and when he heard them his anger was aroused. Then fire from the LORD burned among them and consumed some of the outskirts of the camp. When the people cried out to Moses, he prayed to the LORD and the fire died down. So that place was called Taberah, because fire from the LORD had burned among them.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!”  Num. 11:1-6 NIV

*From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.

But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. "Heaven forbid, Lord," he said. "This will never happen to you!"

Jesus turned to Peter and said, "Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God's." Matthew 16:21–23 NLT

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