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What a Dog! Seeing the Good things in Life.

One day, a dog walked into a butcher shop carrying a note in his mouth which said, “Can I have twelve sausages and a pound of ground beef, please?” There was a ten dollar bill attached to the note. So the butcher takes the money, puts the order in a bag, and sits it in front of the dog. The dog picked it up in his mouth, and off he went. The butcher was intrigued so he decided to follow the dog.

The dog walked down the street and stopped at the stoplight. He dropped the bag and jumped up the touch the crossing button with his nose. The butcher was impressed.

The dog walked all the way to a bus station. The first bus came and the dog looked that the sign in the window and didn’t move. The second bus comes, and sure enough the dog saw it was the right bus so he got on. The butcher got on too.

After several miles, the dog gets up, moves to the front of the bus, and, standing on its hind legs, rings the bell to stop the bus. The dog gets off with the bag still in its mouth.

The dog spots a house, and it walks up the sidewalk to the house and drops the bag on the step.

Then it walks back down the sidewalk, takes a big run, and throws itself—whap!—against the door. Then, it ran to the end of the sidwalk and made another run at the door. Whap again!

No one comes to the door, so the dog walks to the side window of the house. It gets to a window and bangs its head against it several times. Then he walks back around to the front door.

The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door and starts yelling at the dog. The butcher runs up and stops the guy. “What are you doing? This dog is a genius. It could be on TV!”

“Genius?” the man says. “This is the second time this week he’s forgotten his key!” (1)

How sad that the dog owner couldn’t see what a great dog he had. He was not focusing on the fact that his dog was incredible! I hate to tell you this is not a true story. There is, however, a principle that I want you to see.

It’s easy to overlook the good things in our life. We can forget that God is great. He does the miraculous. Now, I’m not comparing God to a dog; I’m comparing us to the man who didn’t know the good thing he had. I’m saying we can get so focused on certain things that we can miss the big picture of provision that God has provided.

It’s like the idiom, “miss the forest for the trees .” We miss the big picture of our situations because we are focusing on only a part of that big picture.

When facing difficult situations in life, we can get laser-focused on the problems and forget that our God has the solutions. If we stay focused on the “trees” of life or all the difficulties, we can be overwhelmed and overwhelmed to the point of giving up.

Marriage. Family. Work. Church. Money. Health. Life in general. All of the above can cause points of tension that can lead us to exhaustion. We can question the goodness of God.

There are times when life becomes difficult and we feel like quitting. Everything presses in around us, and the future looks dark. Instead of facing the day with excitement and eager expectation, we face the day with weariness and depression. We are ready to faint.

Some people, instead of turning to God, turn to some substitute—drinking or drugs or entertainment or anything they think can bring comfort—only to discover that these things can never carry them through. Some discouraged, fainting people even think of taking their own lives.

It’s heartbreaking. It’s the enemy at work in the hearts and minds of people who have difficulty seeing the big picture.

In the demanding hours of life, when we feel like fainting and giving up, we can turn to a magnificent promise that God will give us new strength to fly, walk, and run.

We find this promise in the Word of God. It’s a powerful reminder of the faithful goodness of our loving God.

Isaiah 40:27–31 (CEV)

27 You people of Israel, say, “God pays no attention to us! He doesn’t care if we are treated unjustly.” But how can you say that?

28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Lord is the eternal God, Creator of the earth. He never gets weary or tired; his wisdom cannot be measured.

29 The Lord gives strength to those who are weary.

30 Even young people get tired, then stumble and fall.

31 But those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will be strong like eagles soaring upward on wings; they will walk and run without getting tired.

Isaiah spoke for the Lord to the people of Judah during the reigns of four kings of Judah. Over this period of about forty years, the Assyrian empire was expanding. Nations joined together to fight Assyria, but Assyria finally conquered Israel and most other nearby countries. Thousands of people were led away as prisoners. And although the Assyrians didn’t completely conquer the kingdom of Judah, it had to pay heavy taxes.

In chapter 40, the Lord spoke to discouraged people, and he offered them hope. But the Lord wanted them to understand that idols have no power and that he alone is the true God. If the people of Israel turned back to him, then he would rescue them and the other nations where they had been scattered. They would return to their own land, and he would bless them and make them prosperous. The Lord made this tremendous promise to his people because he created and rules the entire earth. He alone was God.

And guess what? He is still the same today. His character and nature have not changed. So the words spoken to his children 2,700 years ago through Isaiah can be applied to our situation today.

I think about what it would feel like to be overtaken by an evil ruler. Unfortunately, we don’t have to stretch our imagination much; we need only to turn on the news to see it playing out in real-time in Ukraine. Lives have been upturned by a ruler with personal ambition so great that they are willing to sacrifice innocent lives to achieve their goals.

The conflict affects the entire world. Not to diminish the problem or the pain that people and the world are facing, but these types of things aren’t new. And they aren’t a surprise to God. It’s the same story that has been played out over and over throughout history. And as long as people are full of sin, it will continue to happen.

As believers in Jesus, we know bad things are going to happen. Difficult times will come to each of us in just the right way to test our faith. What are we supposed to do in these times? How are we to react when the world is falling apart?

In our scripture, we see the solution. We must trust the Lord to give us strength. When we do we will soar like an eagle over the issues we face in this world because we know He will be with us. He will give us the help we need to run or walk and not faint.

Trust the Lord today.

(1) Fun Jokes: More than 500 Squeaky-Clean, Laugh-Inducing, Stress-Relieving Jokes for Everyone (13. Man’s Best Friend)


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