Sunday we brought home a new puppy who is eight weeks old today. I would’ve loved another rescue dog, but because we had to think of our allergic granddaughter, we got a red Goldendoodle who is so, so cute!
It’s been almost 14 years since we had a puppy to train, and although I remembered that it’s tough, I’d forgotten just how frustrating it can be. (Maybe it’s similar to memories of childbirth—I’m thinking that God intends us to forget so we choose to do it again.)
Carmen seems to have both a sweetheart and a demon living in one body. How can one little dog be so obstinate and precious at the same time?
A dog trainer must show love, discipline, consistency and patience to train a puppy. She needs to have certain goals for the puppies she trains or she risks leaving them with bad habits and behaviors.
Discipleship requires similar training.
How many times did Jesus have to ask, “Where is your faith?” to the Twelve? He consistently showed them his great power, but they kept forgetting, instead acting out of fear.
Over and over Jesus tried to tell them that he had to suffer and die, and yet they were clueless when those events began to unfold.
Peter was the disciple who first declared who Jesus was—the Messiah, Son of God, but then he was the one who turned around and denied him.
I often find myself frustrated with baby Christians—until I remember all the ways I must still be a frustration to God after decades of learning about him. I think of how often I fear rather than trust God and how so much of my thinking continues to be about me and not him. I have a long, long way to go, and he is so very patient with me.
Knowing that helps me as I teach and disciple others. I need a goal—to help them know and love God and then live that out. I also need patience and faith to let God work in their lives according to his schedule. And I need to love them no matter how slow they are to learn, knowing that I, too, am in the process of being disciplined by God.