During the weekend, I was engaging with Diamond. Yes, we do that often. #don’tjudgeme. She heard a noise. She began running down the stairs, growling. I said, “Diamond, no one is here, except you and me.” I then paused and said, “And God.” Diamond began to bark loudly in response to my addition. I said, “Don’t bark at God!” Then, in that short moment, immediately, I was convicted, as I considered the extent to which I have barked at God. Allow me to explain.
As God assumes the distance in determining a job for our daughter upon graduation, he’s heard me bark. Why is it taking so long? When will it come? I’ve prayed about it. She’s worked hard. Grant her favor with God and with man. Yet, the manifestation of the offer hasn’t come into the physical realm…yet. I’ve barked at God when it comes to challenges on my job, particularly challenges that are resulting in additional work on my already fully established buffet. God, why would you allow someone to disrupt what you ordained? Notice, how clever I attempt to be in reminding God that his creation is being disturbed? I get pretty loud in my barking at God, asking for strength and endurance for what I signed up for, not him – admittedly sometimes failing to seek his wisdom and permission, simply because it is couched in kingdom business. Side bar: just because its Godly, doesn’t mean its granted.
Occasionally my barking is loud and long; other times, it may be one single bark, you know to get God’s attention in a subtle manner. It may also show up in a whimpering fashion especially when things are completely out of sorts. Hey, barking can be annoying, and in society, it is viewed as a defense mechanism. It keeps someone or something away. If in fact that is the case, could my barking actually distance God as opposed to drawing him closer? Dogs bark for many reasons. Essentially, its verbal communication. Yet, God has given us instruction and has expectation for our direct dialogue and it is prayer. Luke 18:1 tells us that men ought to always pray. Philippians 4:6 tells us to be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Further, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 affirms that we should pray without ceasing. Finally, we are reminded the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16). So then I wonder, why does barking occur? Perhaps its rooting in one of the reasons for barking, and that is fear. Although God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), we are human and those human tendencies may pronounce and present in a more magnified capacity than our spiritual self.
The beauty is that God knows and loves us through it all. God knows that our barking doesn’t diminish our love for him, but it does demonstrate our areas for growth in our faith walk. It serves as pings for our learning. Its been said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I would suggest that rule of thumb is not applicable to prayer. The more I spend time in communication with God about the issues of my heart, as opposed to the people around me, I am granted peace that truly passes understanding (Philippians 4:7); understanding through all the issues of barking.
No matter how much Diamond barks at someone who rings the bell, she desires to play with the guest upon entering our home. The same can be said of my relationship with my Creator. No matter how I bark, get frustrated, grow weary, there is still no one I’d rather take my burdens to. And I know that I will receive love, assurance, instruction and embrace. If I need to bark, I can save it for the actual intruder of my soul wrapped up as the enemy. I can remind him that I belong to the most high God, that he has propriety over me – as well as the terrain I operate in and those connected to me. I am grateful that God loves me through my amplified noise – as he does you as well!