So… let me tell you a story about Fiver, The Wonder Dog! After suddenly losing our former four legged companion last year, I had prayed that the new dog that we would eventually bring home would take a quick liking to Piper and not be afraid of her chair or any of the other circumstances or activities that we entail as part of the daily battle we fight for the restoration of her health.
After trying to adopt three older dogs from the local Aussie adoption agency with no success, I spotted our Fiver, a young male, blue merle Australian Shepherd mix (with Great Pyrenees)… and it was love at first sight! He was a little shy at first but seemed to be comfortable in our home and from day one, has followed me around like my shadow. But he also formed an almost immediate connection with Piper. Wherever I push her chair around in the house, our big white with blue merle face and hind quarters pooch has to be at her side or directly in front of the chair… leading the way!
Every morning he is to be found at my side licking Piper’s face or hands as I get her up and ready for the day. When I mow the lawns, he is usually right next to or under her chair on the back deck or front porch. Well, the other night he took his self-imposed responsibilities a step further…
After I got Piper all tucked in for the night, I jumped in the shower for a quick rinse after having been outside mowing the front lawn for a good part of the afternoon. A few moments later as I was drying my hair, the bathroom door, which I had left slightly ajar so that I could listen for Piper if needed, suddenly swung open and Fiver stood in the doorway staring at me.
This was a little unusual as the dog normally lays down in bed right after I get Piper all snuggled up under her covers. So, I looked at the pooch and spoke to him saying: “What’s going on boy?” and knelt down to pet him. It was then that I looked up across the bedroom and noticed that Piper had pulled the covers over her head and was flailing about under the sheets. In an instant I knew that she was having some difficulty and with Fiver at my side, hustled over to her bed, pulled the covers back and noticed that her face and nose were buried in the pillow soaked with a nasal discharge. Then as I gently lifted her head she began to sigh repeatedly.
At times like that I normally act before I take any time to think about the situation! So as I gently caressed her head and spoke softly to her, I quickly changed her soft fluffy pillow with a firmer one off my bed, and tenderly placed her head on it. Then I washed her face and switched over to comforting prayer… with the dog licking at her hands the whole time!
You know… I’m not sure what would have happened if Fiver hadn’t alerted me! I had the door to the master bath room ajar so that I could hear Piper… but she didn’t make any noise until I moved her head! I believe that Piper was probably a bit shaken after the incident and thus the sighing utterances that she continued to make for a while following my response.
This may sound a little strange to some people… but I believe that the situation that night unfolded as it did due to the atmosphere of “the mind of Christ” in our home. After teaching the church in Corinth the differences between individual people’s ability to be spiritually minded or not, Paul declared: “"Who has known the mind of the Lord so that he can teach him?" However, we have the mind of Christ.” (I Corinthians 2:16 God’s Word ©) In this verse he is speaking to Christians, and I think that you could add the word “should” before the words, “have the mind of Christ.”
As I have stated in another recent post, I have come to understand that having “the mind of Christ” is all about the ability to seek and keep one’s focus on God and the truth of His Word… no matter what other contrary evidence is being presented to you at any given time. Paul told his friends in Philippi that he was “reaching out for Christ” as “I’ve got my eye on the goal where God is beckoning me onward – to Jesus.” Then he concluded his thought by encouraging them declaring “So let’s keep focused on that goal.” (Philippians 3:12, 13, 15 The Message)
When the dog nosed open the bathroom door the other night, I immediately sensed that something was up… but I didn’t panic. When I saw what was going on with Piper I just moved! When things like this happen, I’ve learned to immediately turn inside, to quiet myself down and give an ear to what my spirit man is trying to tell me. While I was working with my wife in the midst of the moment, I was also asking God where this was going, should I call the hospice nurse and what else should I do. After a few minutes I had peace and “knew” she was okay and that everything was cool!
Now that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get up numerous times throughout the night to check on her to assure her well-being, but I didn’t do it in fear but in faith that what I had heard the Lord say to me through my inner man was correct!
So what did I learn through this? Well, first of all, that the Lord definitely knew what He was doing when I was tempted to complain because I was disappointed that we were not able to adopt the first three dogs we tried to get! Because He knew that the big, 65 lb goof-ball Fiver was the right animal for us! And secondly, that keeping our focus on the goal of Jesus and His Word works… and is the right view to keep one’s eyes on!
What do you think? When you open up the windows in your home… your spiritual home, what is your view? What if there is a lot of smoke, your spouse is smothering, the bank account is empty, the kids are sick, or any other such contrary evidence to the truth of God’s Word?
Just saying…. Now’s the time to get the right view… before the smoke and mirrors of life attempt to get you off course!
Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “What VIEW am I expecting to have today?”