when my dog was a puppy, i used to play a game with her. i would dangle some food at the tips of my fingers and hold it up so she could see it and smell it but she could not reach it. she would immediately sit up straight and look longingly at the food, never once taking her attention away from it.
sometimes i would make her jump. other times i said, “sit!” and made her wait. i would tease her for awhile, frustrate her a bit, but in the end i always gave her whatever tidbit i was tempting her with. i also rewarded her with an additional pat on the head and a reassuring, “good girl!“.
looking back, i guess it was pretty mean to do that to her eventhough she knew what her prize was and she knew i would eventually give it to her. i really didn’t have to keep the food just out of reach.
however, i didn’t do it to torment her; i did it to teach her patience, obedience, and to let her know that no matter what, she would be rewarded in the end.
i never withheld the food from her because i promised it to her from the very beginning.
sometimes i feel as if You’re teasing me. You dangle good things in front of me, but they always seem just out of reach. at times, i am frustrated to the point that i am close to losing my faith in You…yet You have promised it to me.
You promised me in that car, several months ago. You promised me one saturday night sometime last year. when i pray that i be prepared for a life without what You have promised, You tell me that You don’t go back on Your word.
to be honest, i am *this* close to losing all hope of ever receiving that promise. it just seems so…cruel for You to be playing me like this. it tempts me to ask, “why are You being so mean?” if i didn’t know who You are, i would dismiss Your promise as nothing but foolish optimism.
but i know You’re not doing it to torment me. when i ask, Your answer is always “wait“. patience has never been one of my best qualities…i guess You’re teaching me that now. patience and obedience. a prize waiting at the end.
so i’m holding onto Your promise. i am holding You to Your word.