Our Dog, Mia
Following God can be frustrating, painful, and very exciting. God calls us to dream and believe Him for extremely stretching things. He has more in store for us than just believing Him for the parking spot by the door.
Today I am sitting at a vet hospital in China. Last month I didn’t even have a dog. Within just over a week we got a dog, she got sick, and now has 50% chance of living. When I got to this hospital, they immediately picked her up and starting sedating her as they tried to ask me questions. She looks as if she is about to pass.
The journey of faith leads us through doors we never thought we would have to travel. God likes to stretch us and make us see we have more in us than we ever knew was there. The thing is… God is in us, so we can never reach the depth of that well.
Earlier today I took our little Mia to our local vet. She was already looking worse than she had all week. She had been diagnosed with Parvo which does commonly kill dogs. Being she is maybe six weeks old, this is a rough diagnosis already.
The week has been up and down. She got sick, got better, and now worse than before. It is times like this we need the word of God for us. His word gives us peace and direction when circumstances are too painful to see through.
As we prayed we got an image of little Mia as an older dog. This image gave us hope and encouraged our prayers as we began seeing her go downhill.
The vet has come out and said that Mia is showing signs of kidney failure. I will need to leave her at the vet overnight. It’s times like this where my lack of language ability becomes evident. We had a long conversation without much actual understanding passing. If I comprehended him, they really wanted me to understand that see may not make it.
Four Days Later
I know God never lies, but do you think He allows us to get misdirection on purpose? Our dog overcame the kidney problems with much rejoicing from our family, but the Parvo was still at work in her body.
The word of God, as we understood it, maintained our hope. The healing of her kidneys also brought renewed hope that she would get completely well. However the day after the news of her kidneys, Mia departed this life.
Following God makes this life exciting, but it doesn’t remove you from the pain and confusion that comes from living. In fact the life of faith adds to it because you are called to live by faith and not sight. This means life will try to tell you a different story than the one God wants us to believe.
I really don’t think God misdirects us. That is too close to lying which He can never do. However I know if He told us she would die, we would have given up hope. And, don’t think God can ever let us lose hope, because with God all things are possible and prayer does change things.
Another Near Death
Last week we also saw the near death of another part of our lives. Without being able to give many details, one member of our team could have left. As we prayed, this was what we thought would happen. Our board of advisors thought it would be best even though in the process we may have had to lose the orphan girls with whom we were working. It could have been messy and hurtful, so we had contacted our intercession team to cover us in prayer.
We had two conversations last week with this team member. They did not go as expected; it went much better. The potential of hurt was avoided and life resulted. Our team would be staying intact.
It’s hard to say what happened besides God’s loving hand, but it seemed a word was said in the first meeting that had life attached to it and we all pursued it to the point life resulted. God guided us all, and we all pursued Him through dangerous waters. It was beautiful and better than what we could have accomplished by ourselves.
Radical Faith vs. Losing Faith
People lose faith when God leads us differently than we expected. Granted a puppy is different than a baby or parent, but principles only change in magnitude. We are called to pursue the word of God in every situation. It may turn out differently than expected, but God rewards faith.
God is searching the earth to find those who are faithful (2 Chronicles 16:9). He is not hoping to find faults in us to punish. Instead in His forbearance He didn’t punish sin, so He could create a way for us to avoid the punishment (Romans 3:25).
I want to encourage more people to live in faith. It may be crazy to those who look for safety. It may feel foolish to you. However we serve a God who is alive and wants to speak to you.
Be radical. Give yourself completely to trying to follow our God in every life situation. This is how you get the word to become like those in Hebrews 11. It will be wild. It will weird. It will be one that God will reward. Go for it.