"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart." -Winnie the Pooh

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lessons from Lacey

It occurred to me at 5:30 this morning while cradling a shaking and crying Sheltie in our queen size bed that there are many, many lessons I can learn from my dog Lacey.  Please bear with me while I attempt to put into words the lesson God taught me through my dog this morning.

At approximately 5:30 am, David and I both were awakened by a terrible clap of thunder and our dark bedroom being illuminated by a huge flash of lightening.  I had taken Benadryl last night to combat mosquito bites from this weekend (to be recounted in a later blog post--this weekend, not the mosquito bites).  And if you know me and Benadryl...we don't make for a good pair.  I had been needing to take it all day due to a mosquito bite the size of a golf ball on my leg, but I am an embarrassment when I take it.  The thought of family Easter with David's extended family and Benadryl was enough to give me nightmares.  I envision being drunk would be something like me + Benadryl.  Slurred speech, crazy dreams, grogginess.  I have been known to forget having conversations with people while "under the influence" of Benadryl.  I'm surprised I woke up to the thunder.

Quickly following loud thunder clasp:

David: "What time is it?"
Sara fumbling for phone
Sara: "five thirty"
Lacey: insert crying noise here

Yes, with all of her wonderfully good qualities, we have recently learned with all of the tornadoes that have come through that Lacey does not like storms.  In fact, she shakes, cries, and goes crazy.  Honestly, this is unlike anything I've ever witnessed.

I looked at David who was trying to go back to sleep and said, "I think I'm going to have to get Lacey," all the while thinking I'd take her to the couch like I have done the past two weeks with her.  David doesn't like her in the bed.  To my surprise, he said "okay."  No grumble or groan.  Maybe he slipped some Benadryl last night too, I thought.

I opened her crate door and she walked the opposite direction.  I scooped her up and we went to the bed.  There is a window right next to my side of the bed which is not a good combo for a dog afraid of thunder and lightening.  I could feel her shaking in my arms.  And the panting began.  She continued to try to jump over me to David's side of the bed.

It was a battle like none other to get her to lay down.  She refused, continued to shake, and panted heavily all the while trying to escape my arms to go to David.

Finally, in a last effort to not have to move to the couch so David could sleep, I reached out, picked up David's hand and put it on her head.  He gently petted her in his sleepiness and told her it would be okay.  And strangely, our dog quit fighting my arms and laid down between the two of us.  David went back to sleep, and I continued to hold her shaking body. 

Crazy dog, I thought.  The safest place to be right now is in my arms!  I wanted to scream at her, "why won't you believe that Lacey?"

As I put my hand on her head to cover her eyes, it occurred to me.  Do I do this to God?

Do I run when God calls me to him?  When He opens the door of my little world, do I go the opposite direction? Away from His safety? 

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Does He seek me out, scoop me up in His loving arms, and whisper that this storm will pass?

 11"For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. 13And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country. 14I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. 15I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord GOD. 16I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice. Ezekiel 34:11-16

Do I fight His arms and struggle to get to what I think is safer?  Better?  Clearer?  Trying to handle things on my own?

22One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they set out, 23and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24And they went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm. 25He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?"  Luke 8:22-25

Do I need him to say, it will be okay when I should already know that He is bigger and badder than anything that could try to hurt me?

31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?.......38For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:31-32, 38-39

Do I tremble until He covers my eyes so that I can only see the little piece of His plan right in front of me so not to be overwhelmed by the entire puzzle of life?

Why oh why can't I just run straight to Him in a storm and let Him envelop me in His shelter, trusting that He will protect me from everything?

 1He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
   will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  Psalm 91:1

This was my lesson for today.  All at 5:30am.  All while souped up on Benadryl.  All because of a dog.  God works in mysterious ways.

I'm pretty sure Lacey would like hanging out with God.  He is after all the Shepherd, we are His sheep, and Lacey could be His Shetland Sheepdog.  I hope this is a good case for there being dogs in Heaven.  Every Shepherd could use a good Sheepdog.

14I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  John 10:14-15

Psalm 77

In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord
To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of Asaph.
 1I cry aloud to God,
   aloud to God, and he will hear me.
2In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
   in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
   my soul refuses to be comforted.
3When I remember God, I moan;
   when I meditate, my spirit faints.
 4You hold my eyelids open;
   I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
5I consider the days of old,
   the years long ago.
6I said, "Let me remember my song in the night;
   let me meditate in my heart."
   Then my spirit made a diligent search:
7"Will the Lord spurn forever,
   and never again be favorable?
8Has his steadfast love forever ceased?
   Are his promises at an end for all time?
9Has God forgotten to be gracious?
    Has he in anger shut up his compassion?"
 10Then I said, "I will appeal to this,
   to the years of the right hand of the Most High."
 11I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
   yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
12I will ponder all your work,
   and meditate on your mighty deeds.
13Your way, O God, is holy.
    What god is great like our God?
14You are the God who works wonders;
   you have made known your might among the peoples.
15You with your arm redeemed your people,
   the children of Jacob and Joseph.
 16When the waters saw you, O God,
   when the waters saw you, they were afraid;
   indeed, the deep trembled.
17The clouds poured out water;
   the skies gave forth thunder;
   your arrows flashed on every side.
18The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
    your lightnings lighted up the world;
   the earth trembled and shook.
19Your way was through the sea,
   your path through the great waters;
   yet your footprints were unseen.
20You led your people like a flock
   by the hand of Moses and Aaron.


  1. Thank you for sharing this Sara!

  2. What a great perspective! Thanks for sharing!

  3. What a beautiful post. I know He is always pleased when we take the time to recognize His lessons. :) On a lighter note, your Sheltie is beautiful!! I had one named Tillie growing up. They are such sweet dogs. :) Thanks for the visit today. :)

  4. Amen Sister!!!
    Jenny Loving