Working with kids usually teaches us a whole host of life lessons. And I’ve come to learn that being a dog-owner can too.
Take for instance the other day: I was having guests over to swim, and instead of confining my dog to the garage (don’t worry dog-lovers, it doesn’t get blistering hot in there), I decided to tie her to what seemed like a sturdy shady location. I figured I was being a better dog-owner by letting her enjoy the gathering, while still keeping the pup from bugging the little swimmers.
However, I quickly learned that my sturdy location could not handle a rambunctious dog— which became apparent when she dragged a large metal chair on a butterfly chase. So in the garage she went, before the guests even arrived. And in that moment my inner dialogue (we all have those right?) said something like, “Dog, if only you’d just stay calm, life would be a lot better for you!”
And almost immediately I saw a spiritual parallel…
Dog Owners, Parents, and Our Heavenly Father
But before I get to the spiritual parallel, perhaps the parenting parallel will make this example more poignant.
As a mom, aren’t there times when you’d love to give your kids something good, but you know they aren’t ready for it? If it’s something tangible they’d love, maybe you know they’re still too selfish to share it. Or if it’s some kind of independence and freedom they’d enjoy, you know they won’t use it wisely. Or maybe you’d love to take them somewhere, but you know they won’t appreciate it with appropriate gratitude.
Sometimes you want your kids to grow and mature so they can properly handle the good you’d love for them to experience.
I’m guessing you can already see the spiritual parallel. Our God is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to his children (James 1:17, Matthew 7:11), but I wonder how often God holds back in a sense, because his kids aren’t mature enough to handle what he’d love to give them. He realizes they aren’t ready to be let out of the garage, if you will.
Now let me be clear, I’m not referencing “prosperity gospel” materialistic type gifts— I am thinking of spiritually good gifts.
What Could You Be Missing Out On?
Just think, maybe God wants to use you in big ways, but he knows you’d get prideful and puffed up if he did.
Maybe God will gladly give you and your husband a sweet intimate marriage, but he’s waiting for you to willingly put your spouse’s desires above your own.
Maybe God is going to favorably answer your prayers, but he’s waiting for you to trust him no matter what his answer is.
Maybe it’s time for your current trial to come to an end, if only you’d learn the lesson God’s been trying to teach you.
Maybe God’s going to open great doors for ministry, once you fight the sin in your heart.
Even when it comes to physical tangible blessings, maybe God is keeping you from enjoying some, because he knows your heart will get too fixated on them.
In other words, we must ask ourself: Is there anything in my life that prevents me from enjoying all the good God intends for me? Am I missing out because I’m not as mature or godly as I should be? Is God waiting for me to just do the right thing?
Get in the Game, & Out of the Garage
Of course, it doesn’t mean we’ll be living the “high life” just because we fight sin, and do what’s right. But in all likelihood, things will get better when we choose the path of growth and maturity!
And when it comes to the best good— spiritual usefulness —when we are faithfully choosing holiness, most likely God is more than ready to put us “in the game” rather than “in the garage” (to mix a couple metaphors).
All that to say, don’t make God hold back. Fight sin. Pursue holiness. Stop giving in to temptation. Do what you know God wants you to do, and do it today!