2014-10-28 - Lessons from Shiloh
Lesson 3. It's for Your Own Good
I'm sure that most of us remember hearing those words sometimes when we were growing up, which for me could relate to anything from staying quiet in order to recuperate when I was sick, to not roaming all over the community on my bike (which it wasn't too smart for a young girl to do alone, even in those days, but in my sheltered life, I knew nothing yet, of such things.).
We experience this with our adopted dog, Shiloh. God has given Richard and me a calling to help his vulnerable and abused critters, and we are honored to be her "parents." Sometimes that means lavishing love on her and giving her special experiences and treats that she has never had, so that the rest of her life will be happier and help compensate for the first five years, which were deprived.
But sometimes it means saying no, when she yearns for something that is not good for her. The most obvious example would be her attempts to chew on a computer cable that is connected to an electrical outlet! She has an abundance of healthy chew toys, including those that help her teeth, but you know how it is. Sometimes the most fun is found in items you discover yourself - intriguing little surprises like a faux leather e-reader cover, or a photo album with tantalizing plastic that is fun to play with but could choke her or block her intestines! It's a balancing act, giving her the love and experiences she deserves, without over-indulging her, and we of course will never allow her to endanger herself.
This is the same thing that happens in our relationships with God. Sometimes we think the best thing in the world that could happen to us is ---- (fill in the blank). But God knows better. Truly, as the classic television show said, "Father Knows Best." It may be a long while before we realize that He truly did know best, but eventually we will see it.
For me, one example would be related to the piano. When I was in high school, my piano teacher "snitched on me" to the director of the high school chorus. Much to my chagrin, she informed him that I had been playing for groups at church, and was capable of playing the choral music that was to be sung. I begged, pleaded and groveled to get out of this! The band leader even tried to intervene, but the chorus director just wouldn't budge, and since I had originally signed up to sing Alto in chorus, he "had dibs on me!" (There's also a lesson here in honoring commitments, but that's another story.) I went in "kicking and screaming." You see, the marching band had announced that they were looking for someone to learn a glockenspiel, and I wanted to be THAT girl, not the one who played the piano for chorus. I wanted to learn a new instrument - plus attend all the football games with my friends, without my parents worrying!
But God closed that door; instead, He perched me on the piano bench in the chorus room, because "it was for my own good." Within the year, I would be asked to move up from sub (fill-in) pianist to full-time pianist at a local Baptist church, where I would serve until I moved my membership after marriage - and that high school choral accompaniment experience helped prepare me for that experience, as well as subsequent group playing through the years. Looking back, I see that He was correct. But I was "not a happy camper" at the time!
It's hard to do, when we are in the midst of something that we find distasteful or painful, but we need to try to remind ourselves that every time God says no, every time a door or window closes, it is for our own good, and a la Romans 8:28, God will work it out for His glory and our good.
Janice P. Moser
All scripture references are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.