"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:3-4 (NIV)My family has always had dogs. My mother told me stories of how her little Rat Terrier, named Tinker, would lay across her stomach while she was pregnant with me. So, I guess it is natural for me to love them as much as I do. The only times that I didn't have one near me were during college while I lived in the dorm, and when I was living on my own as a young single adult. The college years were so full that I didn't really miss having a pet but when I was living alone I yearned for that companionship.
One day, one my way home from work to my empty house, I saw a man on a motorcycle. He had his dog riding with him. The dog was wearing goggles and a bandanna so it definitely caught my attention. As I looked, the empty feeling rose up and I said out loud, "Oh, Lord! I want a dog." Now, I promise you that when I turned into my driveway, there was nothing out of the usual. However, when I opened my car door, there sat a beautiful golden Cocker Spaniel and he jumped up into my lap. I was flabbergasted! I had never seen him before so I didn't think he belonged to any of my adjacent neighbors. I didn't know where he belonged. When I went into the house, he followed. After a little while, he whined at the door so I thought maybe someone was calling him and I let him out. He walked around outside for awhile then came back and he stayed with me after that.
Punkin was my gift from God. He slept with me and went with me everywhere that I could take him. He met me when I came home from work, took walks with me, and licked my tears when I cried. I knew that my heavenly Father had heard my cry and answered out of love and the bond I had with that little bundle of fur was incredible.
When I married my husband, which was another prayer answered, Punkin welcomed Lady, my husband's dachshund, and they got along beautifully. When our daughter was born, Punkin checked on her continuously. He would sleep under her crib at night and look in on her if she made any noise. He was never jealous but loved her as much as he loved me. The when she was about a year old, he began crying if we touched his mouth. I took him to the vet and was told he had a massive infection, needed surgery and that he may not live through it.
Babies are expensive. They need diapers and formula and baby food. I was not working outside the home and we simply did not have the money to be able to pay for surgery for him, nor would I have wanted him to pass away without me by his side. The only option we felt we had at the time was to have him euthanized. It broke my heart. Even as I type this, tears are flowing. I still dream of him and wake up feeling like I got a special present because I got to see him.
I really don't think I was meant to have Punkin for a long amount of time. I believe the Lord sent him as a friend and companion for as long as I truly needed him. By the time I had to say goodbye, my life was full. I had what I had asked for since I was a little girl. I was a wife and a mother. That was the true desire of my heart, and the Lord knew it and granted it.
Don't ever think that your longings are too trivial for the One who loves you the most. He sees and hears and loves you enough to know the perfect time to fulfill that desire or to send something better. He knows everything about you, every thought that enters your mind and every pang of your heart. I sometimes wonder if Punkin would have arrived that day if I hadn't uttered the words out loud. I will never know, and that is just fine with me. That day, today's verse became real in my life and I have watched as our Father has continued to show Himself faithful throughout the years.
I pray that every one who reads this message this week will recall the times when He has fulfilled your desires and that you would recall the love you felt at that time. It is always there, that love. Oh, and if you are wondering if anyone ever looked for that wonderful little fur baby, here is what I later found out. A woman that I eventually worked with saw his picture on my desk and said, "He looks just like the one that I dumped." So you see, not only was my desire heard and answered, but so was Punkin's who just needed someone to love him. God bless.