The Why

Saturday, June 21, 2014
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Listen while you read: "Nearer My God To Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Isaiah 55:8-9 – "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (NIV)

We took in this middle-aged dog, which, for the purposes of this devotional, shall be called Mr. X, about four years ago, when nobody else wanted him. He was an incessant barker, a fervent car-chaser and a malicious cat-attacker, but somebody had to give him a home, so why not us?

His good points consisted of being a classy looker, a great walking companion, and a gentle, good-natured personality, except, of course, when it came to felines. After two years of living with us, he also developed two more good points. His incessant barking had tapered off to a reasonable level, and his car-chasing activities came to a screeching halt after I inadvertently ran him over in the driveway, and he lived to tell the tale. The cat-chasing, however, had only escalated, which caused continuous havoc among our cat family, not to mention the devastation of our painted wooden floors.

One day after an especially trying day of Mr. X's frenzied cat-chasing and the destruction of a freshly painted patch of flooring, I thought these wretchedly dark words, Why didn't I just drive ahead another few inches that day when he ended up under the van? Just another few inches and this problem would have been solved for eternity. Why did I realize at just the right moment that I needed to brake? Why, Lord, did we feel that You wanted us to take this dog in, in the first place? Where is the good in this?

And then, I found out the why. Two hours after my dark mutterings, I received a phone call from a friend who knew a senior citizen who was looking for an older dog as a companion. This gentleman had no cats, and he loved to walk. The thing that struck me the most, however, was the location of his house. It was within ten feet of the roadway. When I realized this, I knew exactly why we had taken this dog in, and yes, even why I had inadvertently run over Mr. X and braked at just the right moment. This dog had a purpose. We had a purpose. Our purpose was to train Mr. X so that he could eventually fulfill his purpose by becoming a good companion to a kind and caring senior citizen.

Now, every time I drive by and see Mr. X contently stretched out in front of his new front door, I remember Romans 8:28 and smile, for indeed, it is true that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose," even the things which we so often wonder why about.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that Your thoughts are not our thoughts and Your ways are not our ways. Grant us the faith and the discipline today and every day to trust that in all circumstances You are indeed able to work all things out for the good of those who love You and have been called according to Your purpose. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    How true indeed Lynne.

    Lynne: Thank you for your words – the prayer is special to me. Blessings.

    Lynne – I loved this devotional. What a wonderful story!

    Lynn I think of your honesty in this piece and your ability to even give up Mr X for often we hang on to what we can’t stand — just so as not to give it away. I love your stories.

    Yes, we all echo the “why”, many times in our lives. This is a very good analogy explaining how the “why” was answered in due time.
    Very uplifting. Keep writing.
    Love and blessings.

    Dear Lynne,
    This was exactly the message that I needed this morning.
    I am 90 and have been given, or perhaps have chosen, to care for another 90 year with dementia who lives in my building.
    Why me? Perhaps if I did not have my friend to care for I would not have a purpose.
    Thank you for helping to remember that God has a purpose for everyone.

    Thanks Lynne for all your wonderful Devotionals. You make them so true to life and I love the way you use animals to make your point. They can teach us so much. Usually before I finish reading your Devotional I normally say to myself this has to be another one of Lynne’s.
    May the Lord continue to bless you as you serve HIm so faithfully through your writings.
    With grateful thanks and appreciation for a job well done.

    My husband was working at our front gate when two abandoned kitties came running up to him. Of course, he brought them home. We were able to find homes for five kitties last year. These two are adorable and lovable, but so far no one seems to “need” them. We have two dogs and a cat already. SO, your devotional allowed me to think there is some greater reason for us to have these kitties.
    I always benefit from your devotionals.
    (Texas, USA)

    “Wow” Lynn, thanks for shearing this. I am just wondering how many of us would be this honest? Life is filled with so many challenges, but our dear Lord and savior is always there when we need him most to reconfirm that we are only human beings. Thanks again for shearing, and I do hope that Mr. X is still doing well, with his new family. God bless you truly.

    Sure wish I could teach my dog not to bark, but I’d never give him away. I guess God had His plan for this dog, or the person who needed him. This rang a bell with me, Lynne. Thanks.

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