Puppies were born last night, 9 of them. Puppy number 6 was different from the beginning. He was tiny, about 1/3 the size of the others and clearly underdeveloped. Dogs can conceive puppies several days apart and this is what apparently had happened. His litter mates were ready to be born, but he was not. Ready or not, he arrived.
I looked him over and found no defects, he is perfectly formed, just days younger than would have been better for him at birth. I reasoned out what to do. From my experiences, this dog did not have a very good chance of survival. Odds were, mom would reject pup and pup would not have nursing reflexes. Both of which meant that I would be feeding the pup and keeping it warm for who know how long. I don’t mind doing that; I just have never been successful at that. After many hours of heart-breaking attempts, the pup would simply slip away. I considered that it might be better for the pup, if I accept that now and find a way to humanely end his ordeal.
This was my thinking until the Holy Spirit interrupted my thoughts with this verse:
And you shall again obey the Lord, and observe all His commandments which I command you today. Then the Lord your God will prosper you abundantly in all the work of your hand…
This promise assures me that as I obey and follow God (which thankfully because of Jesus, I don’t have to do perfectly), I can expect God to prosper the work of my hand.
I decided to put my hand to the puppy in faith that God would keep His word. I spoke words of life and healing over him, I warmed him up, dried him off, offered him formula and encouraged him to nurse. None of those things, in themselves, offered much hope, but it was all I knew to do while trusting God to do what I couldn’t.
I seriously didn’t expect that puppy to make it through the night, (oh me of little faith!), but he did. He prospered. He is still small, he is still underdeveloped but mom has not rejected him, she has carefully encouraged him to nurse and he has! When he wanders away from the warmth of the litter, she draws him back with her kisses (or licks) Praise God!
This caused me to wonder how many times, I have been willing to give up on something, thinking that I can see the writing on the wall, I know where this is headed, I may as well bail now? This marriage is over, this child will not respond to me, these bills will never be paid, this career will never take off, I will always be alone, I will never be free of this addiction, why bother any more?
That puppy would have slipped away had the Holy Spirit not reminded me that it is God’s will to prosper what we put our hand to. Did you put your hand to raising that child? Then expect him to prosper. Did you put your hand to that marriage? Then expect it to prosper. It’s never a foregone conclusion, not when God has the last say.
Thank You, Jesus for making it possible for me to come into the promises of God by Your righteousness and not my own. I am so grateful for Your willingness to do that for me. I know in the grand scheme of things, that this little puppy is just that – a tiny, little puppy and yet, the You prospered him! If you would do that for this tiny little puppy, what wouldn’t you do for me? Help me to remember this when I am tempted to throw in the towel. Help me to keep putting my hand to what You have given me, in faith believing that You will prosper what I hold dear. In Jesus’ name. Amen.