The Process

October 16, 2016
by Lynne Phipps

Feeding eight dogs all at the same time is quite the process. In my house, each of the dogs has its own place for eating. As soon as it's mealtime, they are quick to take up their individual spots. Not all of them eat at the same pace, however. The older dogs, with fewer teeth, eat more slowly, while the young ones gobble it almost as quickly as the bowl is set in front of them. The very old dog eats by herself in a separate room as she chews a few bites, walks around in circles for awhile, and then goes back to nibble a bit more. Sometimes, she decides not to eat at all, so in due time, I have to pick up the bowl and remember to offer it to her again a few hours later.

Most days, the feeding process goes smoothly. Some days, however, especially if I am in a hurry or feeling frazzled or tired, I feel my patience wearing thin — very thin indeed. At such times, I remind myself to be patient, as each dog eats at its own pace according to its age and wellness.

The other morning at 4:45, while I was waiting for Skye to finish her breakfast so that I could go back to bed before I was really awake, I was talking to myself about patience, and the Lord reminded me of this verse:

Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (NIV)

As I was contemplating its commands, I found myself comparing the dogs' eating pace to the pace at which different people learn and grow. We are all different, and the Lord speaks to each one of us in His own way according to our nature and abilities. He is also always completely humble and gentle with us, being patient and bearing with us in love.

What a wonderful thought and reminder this was for me at that early morning hour. So often, I can become impatient and cross with myself as I am struggling to learn and grow in a new situation.

Perhaps you, too, become impatient with yourself when you are faced with new areas of growth or old habits that just won't seem to let go. Or maybe your patience is tested to the limit when others continue to disappoint you when you feel that they are not shaping up the way that they should in certain areas. If so, take a moment to reconsider today's Scripture, and ask the Lord to help you to live it out, not only with regard to others that you are feeling impatient towards, but also in regard to yourself.

After all, we all learn and grow better in an atmosphere of gentleness, patience, and love, rather than one of impatience, criticism, and harshness!

Prayer: Father God, bless us this day with the grace to be a people worthy of the calling that we have received in Christ Jesus. Enable us through the power of Your Spirit to be completely humble, gentle, patient, and bearing with one another in love, that each of us may learn and grow according to the pace and process which suits us best. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Be patient.


    Great analogy Lynne.


    I can identify with that, for sure.


    Thank you so much! This has touched me. Thank you.


    Lynne, isn’t it amazing how the Lord can use his creatures to teach us and show us His love. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.


    Hi Lynne. Thanks for today’s devotional. It really spoke to me. I injured my hand recently and it is taking a long time to heal. Patience is something that I should be practicing with myself (and my dog).


    Just to let you know that I always look forward to your messages — feeling in each one, a connection with what you are saying.
    Thank you.


    Thanks, Lynne, for reminding us that we need to be patient, kind and loving in all situations. Being patient is something I need to keep working on!!
    Blessings.


    For me, it’s grandchildren. Oh, the mess under the table! Then I have to remind myself they love coming here, and they’ll soon grow up and go their own ways. If Jesus could wash feet then I can deal with spills, crumbs and sticky fingers – with grace and kindness. Thanks for your message.


    Lynne
    I’m 76 and still trying to learn patience. I get so irritated when I have to wait — like at a doctor’s office. I take a book now and that helps. Will I ever learn patience?! Enjoyed your words.
    (B.C.)


    Good morning Lynne,
    Thank you for today’s devotional. As the “parent” of a new puppy, I am in awe at your ‘parenting’ 8 dogs. Patience is definitely a requirement, and I appreciate the reminder to treat all of God’ creatures with gentleness, patience and kindness – especially in trying times with a young pup.
    Many blessings on your day.


    I have 4 cats so I know exactly what you are talking about.
    One who loves to eat lets me know and when I give in, promptly goes after my keyboard. I am also afflicted with both kind of impatience you experience.
    I am convinced one of the reasons God sends animals into our lives is to help us learn, and also, to laugh. Just try to be grouchy when a cat purrs in your ear!
    Thanks for sharing.


    Good afternoon Lynne
    A week or so ago, you expressed pleasure, in one of your devotionals, that you received feedback.
    Your devotionals are redolent of living today. You are feeding the dogs or clearing the roof or preparing the donkey for a procession. They are all practical. With some you can guess the punch line right at the start; your messages are not so obvious and one has to read through them to get the message.
    This is to say thank you not only for the content of your devotionals but also for the way you present them. I hope to read many more! Thanks again.


    Hi Lynn
    Thank you for your devotional. I agree with what you wrote, but it is indeed hard at times to be patient and without criticism when we see the things which are happening all around us, sadly in the church as well as in the world. All we can do is keep on hoping and praying that a change can come about.
    Blessings.


    Dear Lynne,
    Though dogs have little place in my life, I espacially appreciated how you described your care and love for your dogs.
    Keep writing.

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