Recently I watched a movie called Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. I’ve decided I have a lot to learn from Hachi! The movie is about a dog and his owner. Hachi followed his owner to the train station every day. And every evening at 5 pm Hachi was outside the train station waiting for his owner to get off the train. This went on for years. Then one night Hachi’s owner didn’t come home. And he never came home again. (He’d had a heart attack while at work.) For nine years Hachi was at the train station
at 5 pm waiting for his owner to come home.
Nine years of waiting…Hachi never gave up…he always waited expectantly.
Well, I have a confession…I tend to be into instant gratification. Our society inherently predisposes us to want things, “better, faster, stronger1.” The internet, fast food restaurants, self-check outs, etc., all enable us to maintain this instant gratification lifestyle we seem to crave.
When I became a Christian I brought my societal “instant gratification” expectation into my walk with God. When I came back to the Lord I was about 110 lbs over weight. The doctors told me I had to lose all of that weight or I was at risk for another stroke. So, I was determined to lose that weight instantly…well as quickly as possible. After two months I was discouraged, frustrated, and angry. I was only losing about a ½ pound a week. In my mind, I felt like that meant it was going to take me the rest of my life to lose the 110 pounds. My friends were praying for me and I was praying for me…so why wasn’t God answering?
During this time of waiting for God to take action (from my viewpoint that is) I almost gave up more times than I’d like to admit! I figured what was the point…I was never going to lose that 110 pounds at this rate! I might as well throw in the towel! Losing weight was taking too long…I wanted the weight gone and I wanted it gone instantly!
I didn’t give up…and eventually the weight started coming off at a faster pace. I found out later from the Doctors that if I’d lost the weight as quickly as I desired that I could have done damage to my already over-stressed body. I would have also had huge amounts of extra skin which could have required surgery.
Looking back, I realize that God began working in me the minute my friends and I started praying. Although, not in the way I expected. He gave me the strength not to throw in the towel. He knew that “my way” of losing weight was dangerous for my health…so I lost the weight in His perfect timing.
So, what lesson did I learn from Hachi the dog? That I should never give up on waiting for the Lord. I should wait expectantly as He works in my life. That no matter how long my healing seems to be taking…God knows the outcome…and He’s always at work in my healing and in my life.
My friend…don’t give up if it doesn’t seem like God is answering your prayer for healing. Keep waiting expectantly for His work to become visible to you. God is at work in your life right now. Unlike Hachi, whose owner didn’t show up…Jesus always does, although we might not be aware of His presence at the time.
We ask, He hears, we have.
Canon Jim Holbeck
1 An excerpt from the opening scenes of the Six Million Dollar Man circa 1974 – 1978