Sunday, June 8, 2014

Maggie, Mamie, and Answered Prayer

For those who don't know, Maggie the Wonder Dog is my five year old Shih Tzu, and is just wonderful. She is smart as a whip, and can do everything from dancing like a ballerina to herding cattle.  She's spunky and fun.

A few months ago, I was running errands when my long pondered decision to purchase a second dog suddenly led me to the flea market. In less than fifteen minutes, I had a two pound Shih Tzu puppy named Mamie the Apprentice Wonder Puppy, and was headed home. 

Admittedly, I did not consider the implications of bringing an energetic puppy into the domain of an adult, and very feisty, dog. I wish I had. Maggie was furious with me. In her defense, I did go in the house with the puppy, proclaiming that I had a surprise and calling Maggie to see. She expected beef jerky and found a rival. 

To say Maggie was unhappy is a vast understatement. At one point, I thought she would kill the puppy. Those first few weeks were horrible. My home, usually a peaceful haven, became a battle ground, and I began to reconsider my decision. Maybe I needed to find Mamie a new home to keep her safe. Maybe Maggie needed a dog whisperer. I was desperate. 

As with other problems, I made this one a matter of considerable prayer. I recruited people to help me pray, and I watched to see God at work. It took a while, and I began to wonder what God was teaching me. 

A friend of mine once said that, in dire situations, God often seems to move slowly, all the time working in us rather than our circumstances. She said that, when He finally moves, it seems abrupt and unexpected, but looking back you can see a point where things began to improve and that they were steadily better from there. 

I've found that to be true in several situations, and no less in this one. A few weeks ago, my neighbor wanted to take the dogs for a walk. He had just returned from walking Maggie and was putting the leash on Mamie. Somehow, he fumbled and Mamie yelped. He didn't hurt her, but it sounded briefly like she was in pain. Maggie did not hesitate a second. She growled and jumped to Mamie's defense, barking at my neighbor.  Aggression in a dog is not usually a good thing, but it was the first inkling I had that Maggie and Mamie might become friends. 

Looking back, things gradually (and very slowly) improved. When Mamie is pesty (pretty often), Maggie growls and she backs down. They've begun to play together. Recently, they've begun to share my lap as well. Tonight, I was cleaning the kitchen and looked around for the dogs. I found them peacefully snuggled together on Maggie's dog bed. 
It was a beautifully answered prayer. 

Perhaps you have been waiting for God to move, and perhaps you are waiting for an answer considerably more important than grouchy dogs. I can't tell you how it will look or when it will come, but I can say with certainty that God hears and will respond to your prayer. It may not look like you expected, but He will move.

Take heart and keep praying, dear ones. Your answer is on the way. 

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16 NASB)