It is my experience that God’s lessons often come from the strangest and frequently the most subtle places. Take for example the lesson I learned from my twelve-year-old cocker spaniel, Jodi. As soon as Jodi was added to our family she began to go everywhere with us, including the drive-through at the local bank. Little did we know this would become a much anticipated event for her. You see, the people working the drive-through at this bank were dog lovers and had a box of doggy treats from which any dog spotted in a customer’s vehicle would receive a treat. You can imagine this made quite an impression on Jodi. After this, every drive-through we went through, whether it was a bank, fast food place or ATM, she was right there on the driver’s lap making sure she was seen and looking for that treat. Of course, the only time she got the treat was when we went through that one bank.
After a few years it became necessary to change banks, and Jodi’s drive-through treats were over, at least that is what we kept telling her for the next five years as she continued to look for her treat at every drive-through. One day, five years after her last treat at our old bank, we are sitting at the drive-through of a new bank we had just joined and Jodi puts on her show. Of course I chose on this day to again remind her to give up, the treat wasn’t coming. As I am sure you figured out, when I opened the bank tube there were not one but two dog treats waiting for a very excited dog.
Now the obvious lesson here is faith, but just a few questions. Not only was this an example of extraordinary faith, it was one I wonder how many of us could live up to? Just take a second and ask yourself, could I have the faith to go five years believing God will deliver? If I could, would my faith be strong enough to withstand disappointment a couple of times a week for that entire five years? Most importantly, on that last day just before God delivers, would I truly be showing faith as the Bible defines it? On that last day as we sat waiting in the drive-through, while I explained the ineffectiveness of her actions, Jodi not only believed her faith would one day pay off, she believed as she had for five years that it was going to pay off today!
So, Just a Thought: it is one thing to say I believe God will do something, but it is quite another to show expectation. Is faith really faith if you don’t expect it to be fulfilled every minute until it is? This was a question that had not crossed my mind until God taught me a lesson with the “Faith of a Cocker Spaniel.”
© 5/29/2003 Scott A Caughel