Our Temporary Blessing

In a previous post I shared how Reggie and Brandi found a dog. They named him Jeter.

My mom and dad went to our family reunion on Saturday. They sat around, jabbered, and shared stories. One of the stories my mom shared was how Reggie and Brandi had found a new dog. My aunt informed my mom that her nephew (no relation to us) lost a dog that sounds a lot like Jeter. The nephew lives right down the road from us.

It winds up that Jeter's name isn't Jeter; it's Max. Max is now back with his 10 year old owner. I'm sure the boys heart was broken after going two weeks without his dog, but now Max is back.

God seems to use silly events like this to teach me knew lessons about him.

Yesterday, I was doing something totally unrelated to the subject of Max; I was reading short stories by Leo Tolstoi. I enjoyed the children's book The Three Questions (now linked to in ads on the left) so much that I had to check out the original story. The story that I'll be quoting from is entitled Love. I can't even find a link to a book that contains it on the internet. Mine is an old copy of the complete works of Tolstoi that I inherited when my grandmother passed away.

Anyway, the story is about an angel named Michael who doesn't want to obey God and receives discipline. God is trying to teach him three lessons: To learn what dwells in man, what is not given to man, and what men live by.

Michael was sent to take the soul of a dying lady who had just given birth to twins.

The dying lady told this to Michael upon his arrival, "Angel of God! My husband has just been buried, killed by a falling tree. I have neither sister, nor aunt, nor mother: no one to care for my orphans. Do not take my soul! Let me nurse my babes, feed them, and set them on their feet before I die. Children cannot live without father or mother."

"Children cannot live without father or mother." At first glance it seems to be a true statement. I can't imagine Isaac and Eli going on without me and Lindsay. Tolstoi explains through his story of the angel Michael how this isn't true. It's a long story that I can't do justice to, but the two girls whose mother Michael was asked to take the soul from arrived with a loving guardian at Michael's shoemaking shop. Through this experience Michael learns all the lessons God made him human to learn. He learned that God dwells in man, that men's days are not known to them, and that humans live by love. He realizes the truth in the following: "The porverb is true that says, 'One may live without father or mother, but one cannot live without God.'"

We are to our children what Reggie and Brandi were to Max, just temporary guardians. God is our children's true Father and He will see to it that they are taken care if we happen to die. The great thing is that He will take care of them now even as they are under our care. We are blessed with the opportunity to be parents, but our involvment isn't necessary for our children to be raised into who God wants them to be. It is our blessing to be involved and used by God.

We need to never think more highly of ourselves than we ought. The only greatness about us is the greatness given to us by God. We can be removed from all of our earthly tasks and God will still be able to get the things that matter done. It is our greatest blessing to be used by Him. We should never take pride in what He uses us to do. The roles we are called to fill in this life are just our temporary blessings.

Watch out for the potholes.