March 10: An Acceptable Time


Lenten Devotion: An Acceptable Time

Saturday, March 10, 2018

An Acceptable Time
Psalm 69

“O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.” Psalm 69:5

Even though my follies are not hidden from God, I do try to hide them from myself.  They are like white noise to me.  I can’t seem to effect the change I know would be good for me, so I tried prayer.  I prayed to change my bad habits.

A few weeks ago, God answered my prayers in an unexpected way.   Shasta was the messenger.  Shasta is a 9-week-old puppy that joined my family at the start of Lent.  While I am exhausted at the end of every day and don’t know when my life will cease to revolve around his need to relieve himself, amazingly Shasta has improved my life ten-fold already.  The short list of the gifts Shasta has bestowed upon me include:

  1. Clearing the clutter.  In preparation for our new arrival we got rid of all the junk in the backyard and wondered why we hand’t done it sooner.
  2. Outside prayer time. (a habit I used to have) It may be four in the morning, but it’s so beautiful and peaceful out, that I don’t care. It’s a great time to commune with God and dog.
  3. Family project.  When he made a mess in his crate, it took three of us to clean it up.  It was great to work together to get dog, crate, house, and people clean.  After his bath he was especially snuggly as we took turns warming him up in our laps.

Our lives might not be mired in deep waters as Psalm 69 describes, but we all should change habits that don’t help us thrive.  I know (I know) it is so hard to change.  So even though I’m sleep deprived, I’m very thankful that Shasta came along and helped me to do what I’d been unable to do alone. I thought I was just getting a dog, but what I really got was an answer to prayer. The Psalmist writes, at an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me. (Psalm 69:13). Shasta’s arrival is the acceptable time, and I am amazed at how my follies have been addressed quickly and painlessly through our bundle of joy: Shasta.

My point is not that everyone awaiting an answer to prayer should get a dog.  My point is that perhaps we should be patient because at an acceptable time, the answer will come, and it just may blow us away.

Rev. Linda Lane-Bortell
SFTS DMin Student