“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Gal. 6:9………
Please don’t worry. This isn’t a story about yet another woman who has abandoned her baby in a world that is these days so filled with heart wrenching tragedy after tragedy. But it is a true story about an abandoned baby, and it comes with a message for each and every one of us, I believe.
Just a little over a month after arriving in New York City for the next step of faith out on the road for a little over a year now for the Lord and ministry, I had to face the reality my 13-year-old black lab-shepherd mix Abigail, aka Abby, had almost immediately upon arrival started growling on the streets and in the park at just about every single dog she saw. Now if you’re not too familiar with New York City and dogs, suffice it to say there are more dogs in this city than imaginable. And trying to maneuver Abby around each and every single dog has been tough.
Imagine my delight when I discovered her relatively newfound passion of holding a stuffed dog toy in her mouth, in this case a bunch of stuffed balls given to her by a hotel worker where we stayed before arriving in New Jersey, gave Abby such a sense of security as she walks the streets that she doesn’t want to growl at all the dogs. And the people passing by often smile, and laugh, at how funny she looks with her little “security blanket,” or, as I sometimes call it, her “baby.”
The only trouble is that Abby is always excited when she knows it’s time to take a walk and jams the ball tightly in her mouth to get started, but sometimes right in the middle of a walk she becomes distracted, drops her “baby,” without any forewarning or notice, and off she goes losing all sense of responsibility of carrying her baby back to the apartment. Sometimes we walk a block or two before I even notice she has abandoned her baby, and sometimes a passerby alerts me to her abandoned baby. I pick it up, try to get her to jam it back in her mouth and responsibly carry it home, but she has lost interest, has given up her commitment, and feels there are better things to do in life, and surely mommy will take care of it now.
Is this not exactly what some of us sometimes do with the calling, the assignments, and responsibilities the Lord gives us? Do we not start off with a total commitment, total dedication, with passion and excitement, with the idea in our minds we will see it through all the way, and do what He’s given us to do, in love and obedience to Him, and then somewhere down the line, we become distracted, or feel burdened, or overwhelmed, or lose interest, or think there’s better things in life to do, or figure someone else will pick up where we left off, or assume someone else will take responsibility because we’re just not interested in following through on our commitment, etc.? So we abandon our “baby”, and off we go, figuring surely the Lord will be okay with the fact we’ve abandoned our responsibility, and forsaken His will, and we press on now in the direction we want to go, a direction that is more comfortable, easier, more convenient, more interesting, etc.
When it comes to abandoning a baby, there is of course nothing more tragic than abandoning a human baby, but let us not overlook the fact it is a tragedy, too, when we abandon that to which the Lord has called us, when we get started in His will and then quit, or when we are clear about what He’s called us to, but don’t even get started, or when we’re almost done and then terminate what we’ve started and turn our attention elsewhere because something else seems more appealing, etc.
Is it possible someone reading this needs to hear this message? Please don’t abandon what the Lord has given you to do, whether it’s a project, a job, a relationship, a family, a dream, a degree, a change in your life, a missions trip, going to a new church, reaching out to someone in need, joining the choir, offering your services to a struggling family, going into full-time ministry, whatever it is. If you’re clear it’s the Lord, and it lines up with the Bible as His will always does, and you’ve sought godly counsel from strong Christ followers if and as He leads you, please endure. Persevere. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Don’t abandon your “baby”. Don’t leave behind your responsibility. Don’t neglect your commitment.
Devote yourself utterly to the Lord Jesus Christ, and be faithful in whatever it is the Lord calls you to do – day by day, in His love, for God’s glory, Amen!