Friday, January 23, 2015

God gets the glory Prayer Installment #6


“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’” Isaiah 44: 6-8


Think of all the things you have prayed for. Jobs, marriages, promotions, lives, healings, and houses you’ve wanted so badly … all these things you wanted. When your grandpa survived his double bypass surgery and when the vet tells you that it’s too late for your dog to live and he doesn’t die. I prayed for my second baby to not die as I went into emergency surgery. The surgeons told me that I would lose the baby that he would most likely die. Oh, the pleading, begging, bargaining I did as they wheeled me away. He lived.

I prayed hard when they told me that my 3rd baby would not live through the night. She was supposed to die the day she was born and she did not. I had a funny prayer answer for my 4th baby. Because the third one was a premature baby I prayed every day for my fourth one to be born between 7 pounds and 7 and a half pounds. I prayed that daily for about 8 months. She was born 7.4 exactly between an even 7 and 7 and a half. I recognized that the very second when they told me her birth weight that God was doing it again, He was showing me exact answers to exact (and persistent) prayers.

When my 5th baby got autism, and he had a very severe case of it, I prayed and I cried for over a year. He was cured. The Lord restored him and took the Autism away.

Even one of my unbelieving children calls me for prayer when she or her husband needs a job or a job promotion. I do pray hard for those requests hoping that as she sees the answers it will convince her that God is real, He exists. She still doesn’t believe that He exists but she does believe that my prayers are answered because she has seen that so many times. She has told me that dozens of times. She completely trusts in the process of prayer even though she does not believe in the Jesus of the Bible.

However, we believers in Jesus know better. We know that I don’t have some weird “powerful” brain that can manifest things into existence. That would be witchcraft and even in the case of witchcraft it is NOT that person’s power that brings something about, it is God’s enemies mimicking and deceiving so that the person will remain in darkness.

One lady that I didn’t even know told me I had a powerful brain and here is why.

Typical story of “dog follows children home” you know the one or you’ve had it happen to you. A very homely black mutt followed my kids home and of course they wanted to keep her. I told them right away that she belonged to someone else and that I was going to have to find her owner because they would be so sad to find out she was gone.

I called the humane society and reported the dog. She was not easy to describe because I had seen dogs exactly like her all over that neighborhood. Best guess? There was a loose unneutered black dog in our area. She was very medium in size too. There was really nothing to say but I had a medium sized, all black dog with no markings. They took my report.

About three days later I received a call. The owner had called in to the humane society as well, they gave her my phone number and she told me when she would be over to pick her up.

You probably know what happened over those three days. My children had become attached to her.  So, for their sake only I started to pray and pray and pray that the owner would change her mind. I prayed that she would see the dog sitting with my children and say, “Oh my goodness, she belongs with you and your children. So never mind, I’ll just go home without my dog and you can keep her.”  Personally, I didn’t care that much about the dog. However, something out of the ordinary had happened to me earlier that very day she entered our lives.

I remember clearly sitting in my backyard considering a thing that had been occupying me that was now gone from my life. As I sat on the steps and thought about the new amount time I would have a very strange thought came to me.  You could get a dog and take care of it and take it to obedience school and the two of you could go for walks. Because I’m not a dog person I let that go and very nearly forgot it had happened.  It happened to be September 11th, 2001. I didn’t even think of that series of thoughts that had come to me when I met the dog. To me it was just something that happens to every mom at some point.

But as I knew the time was approaching I sure was praying for that dog and her owner. Really, really, really praying. I even helped God out a little bit by lining up my children and borrowing about three neighborhood children to sit next to the dog.

There they were, all in this line I created as she pulled up in her car. I’m still praying like crazy and I will never forget what happened next. Her car door opened and one foot came out. She looked at the line of children and, of course, the dog and she did not get out of her car. I was on my way to greet her and from inside her car I heard her say, “Never mind. Look at that. You can keep her. She belongs with you.”

Okay, I’m used to answered prayer so I’m not too bowled over but she does get out of the car and we went to the side of the house (so that she couldn’t see her dog anymore, I’m not stupid) and she wanted to tell me a little bit about the dog. How she always got out and couldn’t be contained and she herself had just gotten her from the humane society within the last few months. I asked her how much that had cost her and she gave me a number. I insisted on paying her that money back and she refused. She finally settled on half the money. As I made out a check to her I started to give my side of the story and how much I had hoped she would let us keep the dog and that even that day, before the dog showed up, I had experienced some type of feeling that I might be getting a dog.

So what does she say? “Wow, that’s one powerful mind you have there! Whew, if I ever need something I might get a hold of you and ask for your help.”


She thinks I can conjure all this up with my big brain? Are you kidding me? I tried to explain God and prayer to her but she wasn’t interested in that or converted on the spot.

Just as you think there is nothing to add there is. I had kind of a love-hate relationship with that dog. She was stinky, had bad breath, did get loose quite a lot and of course she needed to eat and be let outside and all of that. She was work, in other words, and a little bit hard to love.

Time went by and she stopped running off and she settled into her neighborhood life but then something happened. The value of all the houses dropped significantly and we were able to buy a house, with a creek and six acres by doing a refinance on our house. We were able to buy our retirement home (early) which we started out using as a weekend cabin. Guess who got to come with me every Friday? My stinky little mutt who was stinking up my car. She loved it. She rolled in the grass and we have a thousand pictures of her rolling, running, jumping over the creek, running in the creek and laying there in the sunshine a lot. She had never seen anything like this before. She was from the city and she was in heaven on six acres.

Here is a little diary entry from three years ago and probably the only time I ever wrote about my dog:

“It’s beautiful outside and I want to be relaxed and alone. I went outside and it had clouded. There is snow on the ground but the VERY green grass is showing too. I put on ski-pants and 2 coats, gloves and went down to the creek. Just as I got there it started to rain but I decided to stay outside. Under the cedar trees it was dry. I thought about Brother Lawrence and how he talks with God all day long. So do I when I am alone. As I came out of the trees I saw strong sunlight on the forest floor. I smiled my way to the meadow and stood in the warm sunshine, snow all around me. The trees had droplets with rainbows in them. I lingered there in peace and tranquility. The kind of peace drug people probably want. God was good to me. No pain, just peace and sunshine and then I looked at my homely black dog and she was covered in sparkles. She didn’t know it but her black coat had droplet on it, from the rain, and she sparkled. Amazing.” And then I wrote, “Remember to wait – the sun is coming.”

She was aging and I saw her tripping up the two steps to the front door and other weird things and I knew she wasn’t going to live forever. She wasn’t all black anymore. She was greying. I couldn’t picture nursing her through a long term illness because she wasn’t the cuddliest dog you’ve ever seen. So I prayed that if she was going to die (and clearly we all do eventually) then it would be quick and not a painful, long ordeal.

The next day she died at 4:00 in the afternoon. I checked my diary and found this:

“The dog died today. She loved it here in the country. I prayed for her yesterday about her death and if it could be quick and not drawn out. She was a happy dog. She even had a happy look on her face when she saw the bus. It was this time of year (9-11-2001) when I praying about what I was going to do and God gave me an idea for a dog and she came into my life later that same day. Now, eleven years later I prayed for her and she was taken very quickly. She had a good last year of her life and she lived to the end of summer. She got to enjoy life at the property and all our walks.”

No, it’s not my powerful brain that killed my dog. God’s mercy is why she died quickly. I saw the whole thing. It happened only a few yards away from me. That is how I was able to see her last smile. She saw me coming out the door and knew she was not supposed to be across the street chasing the bunnies. She was headed toward me with a smile on her face like, “here I come.” I looked at her and I looked at the school bus and there was nothing I could do. (If my brain was so powerful it would have levitated my dog out of the way.) No, I saw her look up and smile at me and then smile at the bus and she was instantly dead.

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Rom 11:29

The whole entire story of her life was like a gift to me.

Ps 4:3 says, “Know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the Lord will hear when I call to Him.”

It goes on to say, “be angry, and do not sin” but I was not angry with God. I cried and I cried and I cried for an old greying dog that I didn’t know I had loved so much. She was gift before I even knew she was headed home that day so many years ago and even her last day was a gift in its own way.
Clevsea, copyright 2015

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