I am a dog person. In June of 2006, I had to put my 12.5 year old Rottweiler, Chester – that I’d had for a third of my life – to sleep. It was a devastating moment, but one that God used to teach me so many things. He is so faithful!
However, it didn’t take me long to realize that dog people are happiest when they have a dog 🙂
I knew exactly what I was looking for in a dog. I wanted another Rottweiler – a male with his tail (like Chester). I knew we wanted him fixed and also potty trained, which meant not a puppy (which could have made finding one with a tail a bit more challenging!) – yet young enough that we could have a nice long life with him.
With all that in my heart and prayers, I began poking around online looking for a fit. I made my way to PetFinder.com and then to the ARK (Animal Recycling Kennel) – a no-kill shelter a few hours away.
It was there that I found Sketch – a male Rottweiler with his tail who was about 1.5 years old and had already been fixed. The moment I saw his page I sensed the Lord saying, “that’s your dog.” He was exactly everything I’d asked for.
Submitting and Surrendering my Desires
When I got home I showed the page to my husband who announced he didn’t want another dog. I was floored! We’d always talked about getting another dog when Chester had passed… I felt a little like a woman who’d wanted children her whole life, had just gotten married and her husband announced he didn’t want kids! And I told my hubby that was how I felt.
But that said, I sensed the Lord checking my heart and instructing me to submit to my husband and trust my desires with Him… that if I pushed, I’d miss my blessing. So, I told Allen that I did not want to push him into this, that I would submit to his authority and his final decision – I just asked that he would pray about it.
For the next several days, I asked Allen if he had prayed about the dog – he would say no and declare again that he did not want another dog. One of his main reasons was that at the time the adoption fee was more than we could afford. The Lord was taking us through a huge test of faith in the area of our finances and so it was not logical to spend money on a dog.
A couple of times when I would ask Allen if he’d had a chance to pray about it yet he would say “just go ahead and do it.” Each time I would have to lay down my desire to simply ‘get my own way’ and I would tell him I was submitting to his authority as my husband, but I believed God had said this was to be our dog. If that was the case, we would be in unity.
God Hears ALL Prayers
Finally, on the fourth day of asking Allen to pray, he grabbed my hand and said a quick prayer that went something like this: “Lord, if you want us to have this dog just provide a financial miarcle in the next couple days and we’ll know we’re supposed to have it. Amen.” He looked at me said “There!” tossed my hand down and walked out of the room.
We both knew what Allen had meant in his prayer… he was thinking ‘God, pay our past due bills, pay a couple of the future ones, and give us some padding and THEN we’ll get a dog.’ But of course… that wasn’t what he’d said 🙂
God Knows How to Give Good Gifts
Less than a half-hour later our phone rang. It was a friend from church who told me that she and her husband had been praying about it and they felt like God was telling them to pay our adoption fees for us to get a new dog. In addition, they were giving us a Petsmart gift card for any start-up costs – a total of $450!
I started screaming I was so excited! Immediately, I realized it was God doing a number of things at once:
- Confirming that the test of faith we were in was of Him
- Reminding me that He was perfectly able to meet our needs anyhow, anywhere, anyway – in His perfect timing
- Showing me that He is mindful of the little things we desire and those things matter to Him as well (see also Christmas Miracle)
I ran downstairs to tell Allen what had just happened. He just started laughing that nervous laugh that happens when you know you just got busted. He laughed because he knew God knew what he meant when he’d prayed, but God had answered what he had actually prayed. He also knew that this was of God and was blessed and overwhelmed by the testimony the Lord continues to write in our lives.
Sketch is a wonderful dog. He is a living breathing reminder of God’s faithfulness and His love for us. He is mindful of all our needs – no matter how big or small. And when we are obedient and trusting, He is faithful!