Today I have asked my friend Mandy Lawrence to guest post. I recently finished her book Wisdom from Wilbur and thoroughly enjoyed it – couldn’t put it down. It made me laugh, but it also convicted me as I could see myself in those lessons taught by a small dachshund named Wilbur. Below is an excerpt from Mandy’s book. I encourage you to pick up a copy and let Wilbur show you some things about your relationship with God.
“Grrrrrrrr,” Wilbur continued as I tried to get the small, well-chewed rawhide bone out of the clenches of his teeth. I had no choice but to do this since he once nearly choked on a bone fragment. But this was a first. My sweet Wilbur had never growled at me before. So I was rather upset, especially since I was the one who gave him the bone to enjoy in the first place.
I soon realized that I shouldn’t hold anything against Wilbur because I, too, have been guilty of “growling” many times when I had no right to. When I was young, I would sulk when my parents grounded me from privileges that I normally enjoyed at their expense, and I’ve often grumbled at God when He allowed something or someone to be taken from me. Sound familiar?
The biblical figure Job comes to mind when I consider my tendency to “growl.” In just one day, Job lost his livestock, his servants, and all of his children. Yet, the first chapter of Job tells us this:
“…he fell to the ground in worship and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised’” (Job 1:20-21, NIV).
What an incredible man! Job’s philosophy was rather simple. He realized that nothing he lost ever truly belonged to him since God was the One who gave him everything he had. Though hard to swallow, this is true for all of us. God didn’t have to give us anything, not even our very lives.
If you’re familiar with the way Job’s story ends, you know that God eventually rewarded him for his suffering and outstanding faithfulness, blessing him with twice as much as he had before (Job 42:10-12). It’s important for us to remember that God will always work things out for our good, too, if we are devoted to Him (Romans 8:28). One of my favorite verses is Romans 8:18, NIV: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”
In other words, we may suffer many losses here on earth, but our eternal rewards for doing so will far outweigh our trials and heartaches.
When we consider the hope we have in Christ, we are better equipped to surrender our “bones” to the Master. We are more willing to allow God to be God in our lives and accept that for reasons known only unto Him, He gives and takes away.
Let’s try our best not to “growl” when things don’t go our way. Instead, let’s trust that our loving, all-knowing Master always knows what is best for us and that He will reward us when we faithfully surrender our will to His.
Mandy Lawrence is a wife, hospice nurse, and dog-lover who is passionate about the Gospel. She has been a registered nurse for over 12 years, but she considers her “true calling” to be sharing God’s message of love and hope through her writing. Mandy lives in North Carolina with her husband, Shane, and their dachshund, Wilbur. You can buy her book on her website www.wisdomfromwilbur.com or on amazon.com.