Puppies and 1 Corinthians

1 Corinthians 3:1-3 (KJV) 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? Our oldest Labrador Retriever, Chloe, gave birth last Friday to six puppies that we were not expecting. We noticed that she wasn’t feeding them, and wasn’t acting right on Sunday. After a flurry of phone calls, we began bottle feeding these very young pups and made plans to take Chloe to the vet first thing on Monday. We sought the best advice, researched all over the internet, bought the necessary supplies and made them a nesting box. During the night Sunday night, Chloe died. As much as we loved her, we didn’t really have much time to grieve, because we were busy tending the puppies. We lost two puppies pretty quickly. Then another, and another, and another, and finally our last one yesterday morning. We were really hopeful about the last one, but we still lost him. I think that God’s design for animals is awesome. There are so many things that mother dogs do that I know that they don’t understand, but it works because the Good Lord designed them that way. We humans can study and mimic as best we can the things that mother dogs do for their young, but in the end we just can’t tend to them the way they need. Some people are successful raising orphaned puppies, but most are not. I was sitting here Wednesday night rocking that last puppy with tears rolling down my face, because I was very afraid that he would die too. He seemed okay right then, but little puppies go bad very quickly. I had already seen it five times this week. I was keeping him warm. Feeding him as much as I could get him to eat, but he had started not wanting the milk as much. It made me think about 1 Corinthians 3:1-3. I had the milk for this puppy, and everything else that he needed. All he really had to do was drink it. Then he would get stronger and eventually be able to stomach all sorts of good food. He would have a good home, and be loved, and grow in happiness. I just couldn’t get him to drink enough of that milk. So, instead of growing stronger and happier; he grew weaker and sicker; and eventually died. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians, he told them that he could only give them spiritual milk because they weren’t able to tolerate meat. They were striving with each other over all sorts of things, envying each other, and I guess he felt that he couldn’t discuss any deeper spiritual matters with them. They should have been getting stronger in their walk with the Lord, yet they weren’t really growing because of fleshly distractions. These distractions kept them from feeding on the Word. It kept them for enjoying the fullness and joy of the Lord. I’m speculating that many probably weren’t even wanting the “milk” much, because they had developed a taste for other things. I know it may seem silly to others, that I have taken a familiar passage from 1 Corinthians (one that I have read and understood countless times before), and gotten a fresh perspective on it from half a dozen puppies. Isn’t that how the Holy Spirit works, though? How many times has He revealed to me a deeper meaning that I hadn’t really considered through very simple things in life? There are too many to count. Lord, help me to listen to that still small voice. Fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may understand Your Word, and apply it, and be used by You for your Glory. Help me to not be like the little puppies, shunning the “milk” of Your Word that leads to bigger and better service to You. Amen. Originally posted on Facebook December 19, 2014

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