Thank God for small miracles.
Most of my life I’ve been terrified of dogs. Exactly why, I don’t know. My mind can tell me that most dogs are friendly; that you can survive a dog bite; that very few dogs are really dangerous; that if you aren’t afraid of them, they will most likely leave you alone; and so on. But all of those pep talks disappeared whenever I got into the presence of a barking dog. Instead, I froze, paralyzed by fear.
Over the years, little by little, the Lord has been driving fear out of my heart. It hasn’t been some big explosive encounter with God that left me absolutely fearless, but rather a little here, a little there. As fears arise, when I have the sense to do it, I take them to the Lord so He can deal with them.
One day I took a short walk in a large park. The area I walk in is usually deserted—it borders a farm and few people seem to know about it—a perfect place to pray. As I was walking along, a woman with two dogs approached from the opposite direction. While we were still quite a ways away from each other, one of the dogs broke from her side and came charging at me. When it got to me, it started nipping at my fingers.
In the past, I would have been beside myself. But I stood there, mildly annoyed, thinking to myself, I shouldn’t have to put up with this. I raised my voice loud enough for the woman to hear me, “Would you please take your dog’s teeth off my hands!”
“Oh, I’m sorry,” she said, “he has a thing about gloves.”
Fine. I put my gloved hands in my coat pocket and stood there waiting for her to retrieve her dog. A couple minutes later, she and her dogs were gone.
I took stock. I wasn’t shaking. My heart wasn’t pounding. I didn’t feel any emotion of fear. I was still a bit annoyed that this woman did not have enough courtesy to leash a dog that she did not have under voice command, but, otherwise, I was at peace.
Little by little, God works. Jesus usually doesn’t drive enemies like fear and shame out of our lives all at once. He does it a bit at a time, until He has taken full possession of the land. (Exodus 23:30)
Meanwhile, let’s celebrate these small miracles He brings our way!
Remember, you are designed to make a difference!
Photo credit: Adapted from a photo by Katie Brady, Flickr, Creative Commons License