This weekend, I took my puppy camping for the first time. I dragged him onto a noisy, bumpy mini-bus, and made him hide under a seat for an hour and a half, shaking in fear for a good part of the ride. All of that only to end up somewhere he’s never been before, with people he didn’t know. I worried that he would freak out when he saw the tent and refuse to go in it. Or maybe he’d walk all over me all night or bark at every tiny sound. What happened? I learned more about God.
God is to me as I am to my puppy. Sometimes He asks me, “Wanna go on an adventure?!?” Like my puppy, I bounce up and down and express my utter joy at a new adventure! But then God tells me to go somewhere noisy, dirty, uncomfortable and scary, and to stay there for much longer than I ever would want. What do I do? Complain, whine, whimper, grumble, and come up with a lot of reasons why God must be implementing the wrong plan. This can’t be right! It’s uncomfortable and scary, so it can’t be the right thing. What does my dog do? He looks at me with his big puppy eyes and says, “I’m really scared, but you’re still here and I trust you.”
We get to our camp site, and the puppy frolics around, thrilled to be out of the bus. He’s come on this adventure with me, never wondering if he’d have food or shelter for the night. He just trusts that I will have supper for him when his tummy growls enough, just as I should be with God.* God will always provide for me, and He will not take me somewhere that is not good for me. If I really know Him, I can trust His character just as my puppy trusts me.
When it comes time to settle in for the night, I’m a little worried that it’s not going to work very well. My dog has never even seen a tent. When I open up the tent and beckon him in, he climbs right in, turns around once, lays down, sighs, and passes out in blissful puppy-sleep. It really made me happy, because in that quick moment he said, “Wherever you are, I’m safe. Wherever you go is Home.”
I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
~ Psalm 4:8
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.