I was having a bad day. Nothing was going right. I ended up in tears over silly pieces of technology wreaking havoc on my ability to work. I sent out an emergency prayer text to my husband, because I was about to lose my mind and throw a computer. He responded with assurance that he was praying. Then minutes later, I received an email from him with a picture of a darling black and white puppy he had been looking at on the internet. Tugged on my heart strings for sure. I shook my head but smiled at his sweet gesture to make me forget my troubles. I finally packed up what I could work on later from home, and left the office sobbing.
Little did I know at the time that the little puppy in the picture would become part of our family, and an answer to many prayers. Strudel the Poodle needed a playmate, my boys needed a dog that actually liked to play, my husband needed his own dog, and I needed another girl in the house. We all needed a lot of laughs.
Isn’t she a cutie?
There was a lot we THOUGHT we knew about this dog, but much of it turned out to be wrong. The owners said he (turns out she’s a girl) was a healthy (turns out she had parvo) border collie (she’s way too small to be a border collie). Thankfully, we caught the parvo early and she was home and on the mend after only two days in the animal hospital. (Insert warning: Perfectly nice people are selling sick puppies on Craigslist, so beware.)
She is now a huge part of our family and we can’t imagine not having her.
As with most cool sayings, the term “dog days of summer” comes from the Greeks. The ‘dog’ is a reference to the constellation Sirius which appears in the summer sky. The Greeks believed the dog days are the days in the summer that are the hottest – and the Greeks believed to be time when fever, war, disaster, and catastrophe were prevalent – often found in Greek literature.
The week we got our little Rocket Girl, we had a few little catastrophes of our own. Besides almost losing her to the parvovirus, my youngest son got bit by a pit bull and a week later, he fell off the top of his bunk bed. He recovered well from both, but we were starting to feel like the world was out to get us. It was all right before my son’s baptism and our church’s Vacation Bible School, so I know the enemy was at work trying to make us discouraged and weary.
It made me think of Elijah running from old Jezebel in 1 Kings 19. I don’t know what time of year it was then, but I like to think of it as summer:
“He himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.’ And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.” 1 Kings 19:4-8
First, let us all pause and give thanks to God for hot cakes.
Second, absorb the beauty and tenderness of God to allow Elijah to sleep, eat, drink, and repeat. Sometimes we need a break from the big prophet-like duties. Sometimes we need to heed the whispers to give our bodies and minds a rest.
Just this week, God granted me a break. I spent a day at a friend’s house – just me and her dogs. It was no coincidence that her dogs are named Happy and Cupcake. I was indeed happy the whole day, and I even got to eat a cupcake. Happy likes to pose for pictures, so I obliged. Isn’t she gorgeous?
There was a break in the weather. Eighty degrees in the middle of summer in Las Vegas is a miracle. It was cloudy and breezy, but not raining. I sat outside most of the day doing what Elijah did. Resting. Eating. Drinking. Repeat.
It did wonders for my soul.
So, if you are experiencing your own ‘dog days of summer’ in whatever form, hear and receive the Lord’s instruction. Listen to His sweet, small voice. Hear the whispers from heaven. He will sustain you.
This is one of my new favorite songs from Elevation Worship: There is a cloud on the horizon. Receive His rain, friends. Receive His rain. His shade. Drink some Living Water.
And eat some pancakes. No one likes a hangry saint.