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The other week, Laura and I were watching the Animal Planet. On the show we were watching was a dog that was rescued from a neglectful family. The poor animal had a big chain collar embedded into its neck. It had been a long time since the large animal had outgrown that chain collar, but its owner never bothered to change that collar. It resulted in the dog’s skin growing around the collar and the metal of the collar sinking deep into the dog’s skin.

The kind and hard working people from the Humane Society took the dog in, gave it some pain killers to put it down while they carefully removed the metal chain. They washed the poor animal, cut his hair, groomed him, and restored him to health.

After they had done all they could to restore its physical health, the dog had to undergo a test to determine if it could be adoptable. A bowl of food was placed in front of the dog, and while it was chomping down on the food, the worker used a plastic hand connected to a long stick to reach down and pet the dog. Quickly and viciously, the dog jumped and attacked the hand that it thought was reaching to take away its food. The test was re-done a few times in order to determine if the dog would consistently attack or if there was something that could be done. Every time, the dog would pounce at the hand and tear it to shreds. Unfortunately, because of his ferocity, the dog could not be adopted, and would have to be put to sleep.

As I watched that show, I wondered if God is like that trainer and I am like that dog. Maybe that dog bound with a collar that held it captive is like me, bound and held captive by my own sin. The kindly Master takes me in. He shows me compassion and mercy. By His grace, He cleans me, heals me, and restores me.

Then came the test. The dog looks and sees what it values, "food." I look in front of myself and see what I value. I call it, "blessings." Put an income in front of me, a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a position of authority, or a chance to be popular.

What happens next? When He brings His hand near to my "blessings," and I am not sure if my Master may remove it or not, the question arises. Am I quick and vicious in attacking the hand that has provided for me, or do I submit to it? Am I quick to attack the hand that cared for and nurtured me, or do I still submit to and receive its tender care? If He allows an illness to come, an accident to occur, or a recession to rise; am I so quick to turn away from Him or do I realize that I may be at the beginning of an amazing miracle?

In all honesty, from the outside looking in, I see the dog as quite silly to think that he needed to defend himself against those who so carefully nursed him back to health. I wonder if the angels around look at me and think about how silly I am during those times when I question the same One who cares for me in my time of need, the One who gave His life to die in my place.

Here is the thing. If I don’t let God come near my "blessings," what happened to the dog? He was put to sleep. Am I saying that God will put you to sleep? No. But He may put you on the shelf. God uses those who allow Him, like Moses did, to have access to what is in their hands.

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