I watched Marley and Me last week- it was super cute, and it made the boys cry. I really miss dogs. The movie reminded me a lot of  my puppy. The part where Marley was a brand new puppy who cried through the night was just like Gracie.

When we first brought Gracie home, she rode home on my lap (she was sort of my dog) and shook the entire way home. When we put her in the kitchen, she sat in the corner hiding from everything and cried and shook some more. Finally, that night we put her in her crate to sleep, and my parents specifically told me that she would probably bark and whine for a while, but I shouldn’t go down there because if I went down there she wouldn’t learn to sleep through the night. And true to their word, Gracie barked and cried and howled for quite a while before I couldn’t take it anymore and went downstairs to sit with her for a little while. Of course, when I went back upstairs to bed, she started up her howling again with renewed fervor. She had learned, mistakenly, that if she continued to bark and cry, someone would come downstairs and pay attention to her. It took her several nights of all of us ignoring her to unlearn that lesson.

It wasn’t that we didn’t love her; in fact, the problem was that we loved her well, and cared about taking care of her. If we hadn’t loved her, we would have gone down there to try to keep her quiet, and she would have never learned to sleep through the night. But the fact that we knew that what we were doing was beneficial to her did not change the little heartache we felt when she cried for hours downstairs. And of course, Gracie didn’t understand at the time… she felt like we didn’t love her and were leaving her alone to die.

Sometimes I think we’re a lot like puppies. God loves us well, and he always will, but sometimes it feels like he’s left us alone to die and therefore doesn’t love us. Instead, he’s watching and wishing we could see how what we’re going through is necessary for our well being and his plan. Meanwhile we cry and cry, but those cries don’t go unheard- instead, each cry causes God a little heartache, just as Gracie’s cries did for me. But God knows that if he stepped in and fixed whatever it is that we’re crying about, we would be worse off for it, and he won’t allow that. He loves us too much to not let us learn how to sleep through the night.

And I would much rather have a God who loved me like that than one who said yes to my every prayer. I rarely know what’s best for me, and I couldn’t be more thankful that someone else is in control of that. Even when it feels like He’s not.

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