My English Mastiff named Abbey walks with a limp. Unfortunately she has bone cancer in her back leg and won’t be with us much longer. Every day she follows me downstairs to my study and sits by my feet while I’m writing. Wherever I am, that’s where she wants to be. She’s my constant companion. If you want to see a picture of her go to my website: www.PositiveLifePrinciples.com
The challenge comes when I need to run upstairs to grab a couple of books or my glasses or any little thing. She always wants to go with me. Now it’s is not in her best interest to follow me up and down the stairs several times a day, especially when I will be returning in a few minutes. Each time I leave my study I close the door, so she can’t follow me. She just looks at me with those big sorrowful eyes that say, “Why are you keeping me in here?” All I can do is reassure her and tell her I love her. Yes, I talk to my dog. Don’t you talk to your dog?
The point is, she doesn’t understand why I close the door on her to confine her. It isn’t because I am trying to be mean. It’s not that I don’t care for her. It is because I love her, that I must limit her. As her loving owner, I have very good reasons for her not to follow me up and down the stairs. I know I will be gone for only a few minutes and then come right back, but she doesn’t know this. She only sees in part, but I know the entire story. She sees a closed door; I see a way to protect her from pain and needlessly hobbling around the house. Similarly, our understanding of the whole eternal picture is limited to only our perspective. Now we see in a mirror dimly, but one day we will see things clearly.
When we experience a closed door in the form of a job loss, a disappointment in life or a rejection of some sort, we only see the bad situation from our perspective. God sees a much bigger and broader picture. Although we may not understand why he allowed this to happen to us, He may be protecting us, preserving us or leading us down a different path for a greater purpose. My dog Abbey doesn’t understand the closed door, but she does trust my love for her. Proverbs 3:5,6 reminds us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Let’s trust Him for what we can’t see, and allow Him to direct our paths toward His perfect plan.
Family Fun: Use a magnifying glass to bring this lesson into focus. Choose several objects that you know may be interesting to observe closer through a magnifying glass (a piece of woven fabric, a leaf, rock, picture from a magazine). Before looking through the magnifying glass talk about what you see and observe with your own eyesight. Now observe the object through the lens and talk about how different the two viewpoints are. You may want to draw pictures to show the contrast and differences. Talk about how when things happen to us here on earth we may not understand or see the whole picture, but God does. He loves us and will care for us through the difficulties.