I have come to believe that Carl has the ability to raise the dead. Of course not literally but figuratively. I have been in the midst of a comatose state and sure enough Carl’s howl has awakened me more times than I want to count. In some cases, I have been thankful for this awakening but more often, I have to admit that I would love to be able to wake up on my own accord.
I recently listened to a message by Tim Dilena, a former pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, which clearly taught how we all have the power to raise the dead. I am not claiming that we can actually raise people from the dead but we can raise the things in our life that are dead and give them life.
If you look at John 11:41, Jesus provides us an example of how to raise the dead. He is actually in the midst of Lazarus who has been in the tomb for four days and his sister points out that the body has begun to stink. Isn’t this what situations in our life look like when we feel hopeless and out of control? Circumstances begin to stink when we focus on the problem and don’t see any resolution.
So how does Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead and how can we learn from his example? Notice the beginning of his prayer to God. “Father, I thank you that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me.” Notice what is missing. There is no mention of the problem and a plea to raise Lazarus. Now notice what He begins his prayer with. “Father, I thank you.”
Before the miracle of feeding the five thousand it states in John 6:11, “And Jesus took the loaves and when he had given thanks, He distributed them.” After looking at how Jesus approached God, I immediately reflected on how I usually start a prayer. I must admit that most of the time I begin by requesting God to give me something that I think I need. Rarely, do I start with thanking Him for the stinking circumstances that has led me to His throne.
So the next time you have a request for Almighty God, start off your prayer with thanksgiving and note how the dead in your life begin to rise out of the stench. As for me I will practice giving thanks as I hear the familiar shrill of my little dog in the morning. “Thank you Lord, for Carl and all the lessons he has taught me. Thank you that I can rise each morning to the beauty of a new day and all the many blessings you want to share with me. If you want to teach me how to become more compassionate in difficult circumstances, it is okay to use Carl’s high pitched howl to awaken me.”
But for now, I am thankful for the peace that comes when my little pooch is sleeping.