He used to be able to jump right up into my bed each night, snuggling up to sleep next to me.
For the past few months though he hasn’t been able to make the leap.
Bless his little heart, he tries and tries. He stretches his legs and sticks his head up just barely over the mattress. But his legs aren’t strong enough anymore. It’s about the most pitiful thing ever.
So for Christmas Roc got a brand new set of dog stairs. I thought this would be the perfect gift for him. No longer would Roc have to wait on me to lift him up to where he wanted to be. He could help himself into the bed whenever he wanted.
Except Roc won’t use the stairs.
It’s not that my dog has never used stairs before. He knows what they are. He’s been up and down stairs at all sorts of houses and buildings. He just can’t quite figure these stairs out.
My dog is scared of the steps. He will stand right next to them as he struggles to pull himself into the bed, not realizing the solution he’s been searching for is right next to him.
I shake my head night after night, wondering how he could be so ignorant. But then I wonder – how often does this happen to us?
It’s actually a pretty common cycle:
– We have a problem.
– We pray for a solution.
– Our Master places the solution before us.
– And we promptly ignore the solution because it doesn’t look the way we expect it to look.
Sometimes the answer to our prayers has been right next to us the whole time. It’s just not the answer we were looking for.
I don’t believe in unanswered prayers. I believe, through Jesus’s words in Matthew 7:8-12, that God answers every prayer from His people like the best type of Father would. He just doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to answer.
Don’t make the same mistake as my dog. Instead of blaming God when you can’t get what you want, look around. Your way up out of your problem and into the place you’ve been wanting to be may be right next to you.
You may think the stairs standing next to you are to difficult to traverse. But to move forward past our problems we have to start seeing the obstacles before us differently.
Sometimes the obstacles we think are enemies are really just tools to lift us up to where God wants us to be.
God does not always provide the answers we expect. He won’t always do everything for us. He will give us all the tools we need to overcome any obstacle in our lives. He will provide the path.
We just have to be willing to climb the steps.
Have you ever prayed for an answer to your problems not realizing the solution was right in front of you? What’s a problem you’ve been worrying about that you could start looking at differently today?