God Knows What We Need

My Hunter dog is 8 today.

Dogs are just the best. They are goofy and happy and just glad to always be with you. I am grateful every single day for Hunter – and miss his brother, my dear Scout, just about every single day too.

It’s important to me to celebrate Hunter’s birthday – it’s a commemoration of the gift Hunter is (and Scout was) to me. I didn’t even know my dogs existed on the actual day of their birth, so really their “gotcha day” would be more appropriate as a celebration. It wasn’t even on my radar to get a dog back in August of 2015 on the day they were born.

There was a hole aching to nurture and love, but I was a bit numb to it.

Regardless of my obliviousness, Hunter and Scout were born – the creatures I would need, but didn’t know it yet.

God knew what I needed.

He knows.

God intimately knows our needs. And he provides.

It just doesn’t always look like we expect.

Take the ancient Israelites. They escaped bondage from Egypt – thanks to miracle after miracle. But then they found themselves wandering in the desert, for a long time (and it was God that led them to the wilderness, rather than a nearer path towards another land).

The wilderness can be a very dark place.

I know it. We all go through it.

But God provides. Like he did with the Israelites – giving them literal daily bread, manna from heaven, every day (for 40 years!!).

What’s your wilderness been like? Mine’s been dry and very lonely. And loneliness can be suffocating, sucking the life out of you.

But every day through it, I’ve had my dogs to give me joy. Their presence and companionship has been a daily grace. I truly do not know how I would have survived certain dark seasons of the wilderness without them.

God’s love for his children is endless and incomprehensible. We can’t understand the intricacies and the mystery of faith, and the “why” of wilderness seasons. But he also relates to us as human beings – he sent Jesus to this earth as a human being to provide the gift of salvation. And he also knows the needs and the limits of our embodiment.

Sometimes we may just have to look a little closely – or slow down – to see the ways he is providing for what we need. And readjust my expectations.

There have been other things I’ve wanted through my wilderness. They haven’t come. And it’s good to do the grieving. But there can be a fine line with that becomes complaining and grumbling. I’m guilty of that for sure (just like the Israelites!). But I am trying to see the bigger picture each day – that God is leading me to the Promised Land and providing along the way.

I never expected two dogs – but they’ve been the sweetest gifts. So I am celebrating Hunter today and praising God for his provision!

Pausing prayerfully can often be the best first step to seeing the “manna” in our lives. May this be a moment now where you can find that peace in gratitude.

Psalm 107
Some wandered in desert wastelands,
    finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungry and thirsty,
    and their lives ebbed away.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
    to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
    and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
    and fills the hungry with good things.

Missing sunny nights with these two together…grateful for the time we did have!

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