Shortly before we moved to Panama, I decided I wanted to bring a golden retriever with us. What better way to meet people than with a big, beautiful, friendly dog? I had one about twenty years ago who had so much personality. I spent a month searching for a puppy, but either none were available, or they were priced way over our budget. I found a reputable breeder who didn’t have any puppies except one she had purchased for breeding. The puppy had a very minor defect, but she was going to talk to her vet and let me know if she decided to sell it. I had been talking to God in my quiet time about the puppy situation. I told Him, “I’m not sure what you want me to do, but if that breeder calls me back, I’ll take it as a sign that I should get that puppy. Otherwise, I’m going to forget the whole thing altogether.”
Two days later, I found an ad online for some reasonably priced puppies. So instead of waiting to hear from God I decided to go and “just have a look” at the puppies. There were only two puppies left — a large active one and a much smaller docile puppy. We chose the smaller of the two puppies and we named him Luke because that was the book we were studying in the Bible. Several days later we took Luke for his first visit to the vet. The first thing the doctor said was, “this dog has a heart defect. Who did the health certificate?” We didn’t get a health certificate with the dog. We were informed that it was state law that any dog sold in Florida must have a health certificate and we should immediately return Luke for a refund. How do you take back a puppy who has already become part of your family? We decided we’d keep him and let the chips fall where they may.
I’ve learned there is order in allowing God to direct my path. When I go off and make decisions without seeking God’s will, the results are often undesirable. The effects of my poor decision making can also impact others. I often wonder, why in the world do I even bother making my own decisions when I have a wise, loving, all knowing Father who delights in spending time with me. The purpose of His Word is for encouragement and protection.
Luke started having seizures regularly about a year ago and two months ago he had a heart attack. For a while we thought we were going to have to put him down, but God, in His grace, provided a medication that has helped immensely. Remember that breeder? A week after we brought Luke home the breeder called and said, “That puppy’s available if you’re still interested.”
The lesson to learn is don’t get ahead of God but allow Him to gently direct your path in His perfect timing.
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.
Based on Come Apart or Come Apart Part 3 on June 8th, 2019 - Watch Sermon