On Sunday night, after over a year's worth of digging my heels in, I felt the Father say "Go with it". Meaning... "Get your daughter the dog she's been begging for." So I went with it.
I'm crystal clear on this point: my daughter didn't change my mind. I had enough resolve to last until the rapture. But so did she. She asked and kept asking. She knocked and kept knocking. She sought and kept seeking. (Luke 11:9) Every bedtime and mealtime prayer was, "God, please change Ma and Pa's hearts and tell them to get a dog." It was really cute for the first week. But at midnight on Sunday night I felt God whisper in my heart "Go with it. I am in this." This began a conversation that went something like this:
"God...what? I have never wanted a dog...especially a small, wimpy lap dog like this. You know how much I hate pet hair and all the crap that ends up in the floor and stinks up the house. It's yet another thing to be responsible for, and Bozlie has no idea what will be required. Am I hearing you right? Are you really saying 'Yes-Jay-Get-This-Dog?' Please confirm."
Just then my wife rolls over, after appearing to have been asleep for a good 30 minutes and says out loud "Aargh! I can't sleep. I cannot stop thinking about that dog."
What had been a choice had now become an issue of obedience. What lightened the load a bit was that I felt there was some unseen invitation behind it. So my mind began to search for ways to justify such a seismic shift in my position:
- It will teach my daughter responsibility
- It's one more thing she can dress up
- It's good rehearsal for motherhood
- It's an opportunity for her to see that God answers prayers
- And...I wanted her to witness a true miracle
The next day, after a secret lunch hour transaction, our new dog, "Daisy", made her entrance into the world of business with a poop and a pea on the carpet at my office. I kept her a secret until I walked through the front door at 5:15 to the squeals and delight of my whole family. My daughter was speechless and I loved being the bearer of such a great gift. I thought the joy for me was over, but I was wrong.
Later that evening I took my first official puppy watch. As I crouched low and stared deep into the eyes of the helpless little Wookie, I actually saw and felt what can only be described as the tangible joyfulness of God. What I mean is this: The Father was grinning at me through those tiny black eyes and asking "Will you play with me?"
I was taken aback. It is a question I have longed for my dad to ask me. All my life.
I saw God's joy as it truly is. Unfettered. Unlimited. Unconditional. It was crazy and beautiful and gut-wrenchingly attractive. I fell for that puppy in that instant as I recognized it as a gift from my Father. For years I have been praying for the elusive joy that Jesus tells us is available. As I stared into the playful eyes I felt the Father say to me, with a depth and clarity only God can communicate in a nanosecond "I give you my joy."
This little beast, worthless for anything but loving and being loved, was fearfully handcrafted to be an embodiment of an aspect of the Lord Almighty that I had found difficult to grasp and receive. In this little gift in my home I now have a living breathing expression of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit's delight in being alive. OH... what a surprising JoyBomb! to know that God has orchestrated so wittingly the introduction of a creature that will prove a constant reminder of the boundless joy the Trinity carries deep within its heart.
The Wookie is the Father's invitation to share in his joy.
I receive this gift from you Father..with deepest thanks. As always, Father knows best.
We all laid our hands on Daisy and consecrated her to fulfill her purpose for our family and teach us about love. My daughter has been praying for a puppy. I have been praying for a deeper understanding of the Father's love for me. We both got what we asked for...and more.