Several months ago my husband and I found out about a stray dog that was hit by a car. Jake (I named him that) ended up having to have his front left leg amputated. With a fractured pelvis and a fractured hind leg it took months for him to heal. As Jake’s primary caregiver the long-drawn-out healing process gave me plenty of time to grow very attached. I asked my husband several times if he would consider keeping him. Let’s just say he never once gave me any reason to be hopeful. At one point he became so obviously agitated that I figured it best to back off. It was time to pray. Proverbs 21:1 says that, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.” If this dog was meant to be mine then God had power to communicate it to him.
In an act of faith I took aggressive steps to find Jake a loving home, all the meanwhile hoping God would move on my husband’s heart. I found out about an adoption event at the animal shelter. I knew that if I took Jake he would get adopted. He was a sweet, affectionate, well-behaved (albeit hyper) dog that would win anyone’s heart over – that is, except for my husband’s.
The Saturday of the adoption event I attended my women’s Bible Study in the morning. Providentially we had a nice solid teaching on ‘submission’. When I got home I set my face like flint and called for a taxi. Although I couldn’t understand why after all this time God allowed my husband’s heart to remain so closed, and mine so open, I asked Jesus to just help me surrender Jake to God. I couldn’t stop crying in the backseat with Jake in my lap. I prayed that God would give me grace to do this with some measure of composure. The last thing I wanted was t0 be surrounded by “animal people” who in my view, can get a little weird, in such a weakened state. My heart was so heavy over the thought of having to hand him over to someone else. The closer we got to the shelter the harder I cried. About 2 blocks away from the shelter my husband called. “Babe, tell the driver to turn around. You can keep the dog and I’m gonna love him too.” I screamed with joy and told the driver to turn around. I told my taxi driver why my tears of sadness had just turned to tears of joy. He started to cry too. I told him about Jesus and why God’s way was always best. (Remember him in your prayers please. I don’t know his name now but God does.)
One of the unsung heroes in the Bible is Abraham’s wife, Sarah. If Abraham is considered the ‘Father of our Faith’ then Sarah is our Mother. I Peter 3:6 tells us that when Sarah called her husband ‘Master’ she was not bowing to Abraham in the literal sense. Sarah was making a choice for God. Sarah had been through a lot. She also was responsible for her share of mistakes too. But, her submission was a statement: “God, you’ve given us a promise and I don’t see how it can ever be carried out. There is nothing in Abraham and there is nothing in me, but I’m getting in line with your order. My hope is in you and by your grace I will not give way to fear.”
True biblical submission is nothing to be afraid of. It is motivated by faith in God. It isn’t about legalism or authoritarianism. Submission is about getting in line with God’s order so that God’s will is done. If you are in a situation today that calls for you to submit, don’t be afraid. Do it God’s way. It’s good, right, and it always works!
That’s a very sweet story.
I was very touched and inspired by three legged Jake, and feel better about Steve 🙂 .Praise the Lord for your submissive spirit. What a blessing. I’m glad that Steve did not immediately agree to keep Jake, because then we would not have had this very profitable lesson. Thank you, dear heart for sharing. Tish
Thanks , great message!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I needed to hear this.Love, Margaret
Christina, this is good stuff! Keep ’em coming!
Robert and Desire says
Thank you for your lovely encouraging testimony. Your words have encouraged me this morning. May the Lord continue to bless you and Stephen.
Love to you always
Robert & Desrie
thank you so much for sharing this with me. I always look forward to your emails. I love Jake too and I haven’t even met him yet!!!!
Hi Christina, I am a friend of your knucklehead brother in law who sends me your blogs. After reading today’s story of the three legged dog and others; I wanted to acknowledge your writing, it is absolutely fantastic.
Please put me on your email list to continue receiving them.
Thank you and God bless you.
As always, it is a pleasure to read your blog. However, this one was very special and touched me because it was about Jake. You know how I feel about him! He is such a lucky dog to have you and your husband – and of course Sam and the Kitty! Thanks for sharing. Love, Elizabeth Costa and Bailey
Christina Langella says
I love you! You were there right from the beginning looking for reports on his status & hoping against hope that I could somehow keep him!
Thank you for being such an encouragement and support!
Christina, I’m teaching on this tomorrow! Providential that I read this tonight! I just love Sarah’s example in I Peter 3, because she stooped so low! Rather than submitting to Abraham, she tried to control and manipulate him.
Can’t you just hear her saying, “If you loved me, you’d just spend one night with Hagaar..” and then “If you loved me you’d send Hagaar and her awful son away!”
Sarah clawed after the security that would come from having a baby. Yet, she also stacked up the evidence: on one side a dried up womb and 50 years of infertility, and on the other side a promise from the Lord.
She put her hope in God, and was given the power to conceive. This tells me that even though I have stooped so low (like Sarah!), I still can put my hope in God and be rewarded for my faith.
Sorry for such a long post… just what I’ve been thinking through tonight and was excited to agree with what you wrote!
Very sweet story.
Christina Langella says
You put it so beautifully! What strikes me the most about Abraham and Sarah is God’s sovereign election. Abraham failed her big time – threw her right under the bus! Ha! Sarah, she “stooped” to some ugly lows herself. Yet, God’s purpose for them would not be thwarted despite their failures. They got in line with God’s order and God’s will was fulfilled! How awesome!
I know that you were a blessing today! I prayed for you earlier!
God bless you!
Christina, I remember your telling me the story of Jake (Tripod) but reading it made it just so more real and touching and very beautiful. You are wondering and I love you because you are so special! Gerri
Such a gr8 story, Christina Boo Bina Fe Fi Fo Hina. =^P
I called my hubby when I was tempted to buy my ferret. He thought I was just kidding, but didn’t say no…so now we have Moomler and wow is she too much fun! Everything she does makes me giggle. She chases me, HILARIOUS! She becomes “attack ferret” with her little hopping/running gate and complete with adorable “attack ferret” chirps, when we wrestle.