I love dogs. I love my dog, Ellie. She is of the boxer breed. She was the runt of the litter and has the sweetest disposition and just enough sass and fire in her spirit to keep me laughing. I take her training very seriously. Dogs instinctively seek to find the leader of their pack, the alpha dog. They instinctively don't want to be the alpha because it means that they are in charge and responsible for the well being of everyone in their pack. I am her alpha. She seeks that from me. She naturally follows me around to see what I am up to and what she can get into in whatever I am doing. I am a very routine person by nature. I feed her at the same time in the morning and evening as much as my schedule will permit. She has learned that she can rely on me for her needs and the timeliness of them.
One morning, not unlike any other we woke, I took her out to do her business. We came in and I went to the kitchen to begin my morning routine. I love coffee. I love the process of coffee as much as I love to drink it. I buy beautiful whole beans that have been roasted as close to the date that I am purchasing them as possible. The oils on the beans are beautiful. I love the grinding process which releases that amazing smell and then of course the brewing. On this particular morning I had no ground coffee left so I needed to grind some. I looked at the clock and I had about 15 minutes until it was little Ellie's feeding time. As usual she was sitting at my feet quietly and patiently waiting for me to feed her. She is so good. I began the coffee process and she knew that it wasn't her breakfast process. She pawed at my leg, and I looked down and smiled and went back to my process. She left my side and went to look for a different perspective to see what I was doing. When she saw that I was indeed not making her breakfast, she began to become impatient. She whimpered. She has the most heartbreaking sweet whimper. It is not an obnoxious sound. It is the most contrite, sad, sweet sound that makes me melt all over the floor. I assured her that I would be making her breakfast soon. She whimpered louder. She of course doesn't understand these words. She just knew that I was not making her breakfast. I finished grinding the coffee, I cleaned up and washed the dishes that needed to be washed. I still had a few minutes until her breakfast time, so I made the bed and did a few other things. She was following me and whimpering and wondering what the heck was going on. All she knew is that she should be receiving her breakfast and she wasn't.
This is when Holy Spirit crashed over me with a beautiful and brilliant lesson. I love when He comes and speaks and relates and just spends time showing us connections with our loving Father. He showed me, that to Ellie I am the Father. I am her Alpha. I am the one that cares for her consistently. Without me, she might figure things out to her own devices, but with me, she is cared for and loved with NO EFFORT OF HER OWN. On this particular morning she was expecting to be fed as she is always fed. But the timing was different than what she expected. She thought I should have been making her breakfast first. She didn't understand my timing was only 15 minutes away, only that I was not doing what she wanted me to be doing for her. She cried out to me and I knew what she wanted. I assured her that I would give her what she was asking in just a few minutes, but she didn't understand. I continued to assure her, but she still didn't understand. How identical is this to our relations with our Father in Heaven? We have needs and we expect them to be filled. He has told us to ask and it shall be given. (Matthew 7:7) We try to be faith-filled and trust. He is a good Father after all! We can count on Him and we know this, right? ... But there are those moments when we are hungry. When we want our "breakfast" right then and there. And His timing is only 15 minutes delayed, but to our unaware minds, that timing is limitless. Did He forget? Doesn't He know that I need to eat? Doesn't He hear my cries? Doesn't He care that I am hungry? Has He forgotten me? Doesn't He love me anymore? Do any of these questions sounds familiar? I myself am very familiar with them.
Of course she was then fed at exactly the right time. She was satisfied and all faith is restored that I know her needs and I am going to take care of her. Holy Spirit teaches a valuable lesson in this of God's timing. God lives outside of our idea of time. He is aware that it is only "15 minutes" until He blesses us with our needs, even when we are not. He hears our whimpering and His heart melts for us. But like little Ellie, we are unaware of our Master's timing. We don't always understand His comforting voice telling us that "it is almost time". We cry out and question His faithfulness based on our circumstances and what we think should be happening. But He is ALWAYS faithful and He wants our faith to be anchored in Him.
Borrowing multiple lyrics from multiple songs of one of my favorite worship teams, Bethel Music; He is not a tyrant King. He does not delight in suffering. He doesn't hide to tease us. He is kind.
He is consistent. He is love. He is truth. He is a good good father.