I’m not sure who coined the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie”, but I think it refers to “leaving well enough alone”. Now that we have Buckley, I can see how the two thoughts relate.
There’s something very comforting about having a dog sleep peacefully at your feet. It’s also quite a high compliment. For an animal to willingly lie down and sleep I surmise there probably must be an element of trust, a trust that is earned from familiarity and relationship. And he just looks so doggone (pardon the pun) adorable! It makes me want to snuggle up next to him, bury my face in his warm neck, and stroke his soft black velvet coat. They say this practice brings down your blood pressure, you know.
Of course, then the opposite happens. Buckley wakes up, followed by him wanting something which usually involves me in an activity other than what I want to be doing at that time. Our winter morning routine is an oft repeated dance: I sit at my desk with my pot of hot tea prior to going to work, Buckley decides he wants to be outside (it is NOT an biological emergency), I have to convince him to lie down and “wait” and “be patient”. Evidently, these are not commands that he relishes any more than we humans do.
At other times, all his other physical needs being met, he just wants attention—mine. The Buck can use his nose like a soft but persistent battering ram, summarily inconvenient when I’m holding a cup of tea at my desk, since his head is just at the level of my elbow. Other times he uses his eyes; oh, those woeful, cushiony brown eyes!
The overall challenge is that Buckley is demanding, in his own endearingly sweet way, for what he perceives he really needs or wants,…now. I may have acquiesced more at first so as to build his confidence in our commitment to him, but maturity of relationship must follow as I insist that he comes to me on my terms, not his. The other way around would not be healthy, for either of us!
Consider the similarities in our relationship with our Heavenly Father:
- When we are not even aware, God looks upon us with the greatest affection, admiring things about us that we are not even aware of! Buckley has no cognizance of how beautiful his coat and coloring are, or how comforting that musty fragrance of dog is to me. Likewise, we have qualities that bring our Creator enormous pleasure, and we are wise to let this realization sink deep into our hearts as we walk through a world that criticizes and accuses.
- There are legitimate needs and desires that we bring to God, and are well invited to do so. Our neediness for knowing God’s affection is something He is very aware of, and early on in the relationship we may have wonderful moments or seasons of intimacy (back in the 70’s, we called it “hilltop experiences”). There might even be immediate answers to prayers to build and encourage our faith.
- We should NOT in any way be discouraged, however, when or if these times progress to periods of waiting; that is, what we perceive to be delayed answers to prayer, or perhaps even more difficult, disappointing answers to prayer. There are learned saints that have written more eloquently and effectively on this subject of “where are You, God?” Suffice here to say that He is There, since that is one of His covenant names to us (i.e., Jehovah Shammah), and the time of dryness provides opportunity for greater affection—on His terms, not ours.
- It is important that, regardless of what my emotions tell me (or scream at me!), my mind and my heart must stay informed by Truth. I can trust Him to redirect me in my neediness, and restore me to His peace. In essence, I come full circle to a childhood song —
Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.
As I write this, the black furry battering ram has been in my lap, and he has now resigned himself to my feet to wait for a more opportune moment. He trusts my affection and my care. And he recognizes that I am in charge, although he sometimes needs to be reminded. The winter storm of yesterday has passed and the sun is shining. We will head out to play…later, when it’s time.
(excerpt from God Loves Dogs, by Dawn Jones)