Disclaimer-(If you are not interested in reading about my Christian perspective then you may want to skip this post.)
Sometimes when God teaches me something, He uses a strange method to do so. Ok, most of the time He uses a strange method to do so. I guess that’s just His style. He rocks it. I recently had just such an experience and I thought I would share the resulting lesson with you.
My recent experiments with the ketogenic diet have led me to try some rare foods that I wouldn’t normally have on my shelves. One of these items is a natural sweetener called Xylitol. Xylitol doesn’t cause the normal spike in insulin that sugar does so is one of the methods ketogenic dieters use to sweeten their foods. As awesome as this is, there is a downside to the sweet substance as well. It is highly toxic to dogs even in very small quantities. Just a few crumbs of a very sweet cookie could be enough to kill a small dog. I made some peanut butter cookies keto style the other day. Our dogs are very well mannered and have few bad habits but they are not above sitting on the floor at your feet watching you eat and hoping you happen to drop some crumbs in the process. I sat down on a stool with two cookies in my hand. Instinctively, Dixie came over with wide eyes and ears perked. She sat at my feet and watched me eat these cookies with a look of longing in her eyes. She had no idea that I was holding certain death in my hand. It would have been difficult for her to even consider the possibility that this cookie would be bad for her. It looked like a cookie, it smelled like a cookie and in reality it was a cookie. She had eaten plenty of cookies in the past and I’m sure in her doggie mind she felt some resentment that I wouldn’t share even a small crumb with her.
During this thought I realized that this very mindset is often how I view God and the things He allows to happen in my life. I am very much like Dixie, often asking Him for something that seems like a perfect fit for me. I can’t understand why He won’t give me what I want. In reality, I can’t see the whole picture. He knows what is best for me and sometimes He has to protect me from the poison peanut butter cookies I have my heart set on. Even when it doesn’t make sense, I have to trust that He knows what He is doing and He always has my best interest at heart. No matter how irresistible my puppy dog eyes are or how much drool I leave on His floor, He loves me too much to give me something He knows will hurt me. That’s not to say that He will never let me get hurt. Sometimes life hurts. Sometimes it hurts because of a decision I made and sometimes it is because of decisions someone else made. I learn important lessons this way. Even then, sometimes life hurts me and there is no good reason why. There is no one to point the finger at and nothing to blame besides God Himself. Could this pain possibly be good for me? Maybe I would be better off without any help from God.
These are the times that I have to choose to trust that God sees the big picture. I can’t see it and maybe I never will. I have to be able to come to peace with that. It is the backbone of faith. If I can see and understand all there is to know about God and how He operates then that is knowledge not faith. Faith is believing without always seeing or understanding. This has not been a single decision I made a long time ago. My faith has been a rollercoaster ride where I get downright disrespectful at times when I am experiencing some of this unexplainable life hurt. I have to be really honest with God and sometimes I’m sure He thinks I am an ungrateful brat, quite honestly. He really has richly blessed me but sometimes I just have to vent my frustrations and let Him know that I think He is being very unfair keeping all the cookies to himself. He should probably put me outside for awhile to remind me that I am just a spoiled pup but He never does.
He is always working on me and teaching me something new. In the meantime, I’ll probably keep begging Him for the poison peanut butter cookies.