This is Baylor, our Golden Retriever. He is a giant sucking funnel of attention and affection. He does not understand the concept of “enough.” And he worships—he ADORES—my husband Ray. His favorite position to do that is in Ray’s lap. But last week, the center of Baylor’s universe had hip replacement surgery. Needless to say, nobody, especially Baylor, is allowed in Ray’s lap.
And Baylor does not understand this.
All he knows is that his lord and master, his sun, moon, and stars, went away for a couple of days and when he came back, he was walking gingerly, leaning on a strange silver contraption to help him walk, and not allowing Baylor in his lap. Not even next to him in his chair. Thus the sad, sad picture.
Watching this heart-wrencher unfold, I am reminded of a major spiritual truth: just as Baylor cannot possibly understand why he is not allowed in Ray’s lap, much less the concept of hip replacement surgery, we cannot possibly see the whole picture of any trial or disappointment or suffering we experience.
All we can see, all we can feel, all we can figure out is that we are hurt or angry or both, and it sure doesn’t feel fair. That’s because all we have is our puny little limited perspective. There is always a much bigger picture we can’t see, but God does. He not only sees every detail of the big picture of our situation, He also knows how our situation will play out into the future. He knows how He will redeem our pain and our confusion. He knows why it is essential to trust Him, because He loves us and He knows what He’s doing.
As the great theologian Charles Spurgeon said, “God is too good to be unkind, He is too wise to be mistaken, and when you can’t trace His hand, that’s when you must learn to trust His heart.”
When Ray and I look at Baylor, our hearts hurt for the pained misunderstanding on his sweet face. I can’t help but wonder if our heavenly Father looks on us with an infinitely greater compassion when we find ourselves in Baylor’s shoes—er, paws, overwhelmed by confusion and questions because of what we cannot see and cannot know.
We know that within a couple of weeks, Ray will be healed enough to welcome Baylor back into his chair and into his lap—but we can’t communicate that to poor Baylor with his limited doggie mind. But God has communicated a magnificent promise to us, His children: that He is able to make all things work together for good for those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
That means we can trust Him. And, like Ray and Baylor, our heavenly Father will call us into His lap.