Resurrecting Doggies

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Does God care about your dog?

If I pray for my dog will God answer?

Does God answer prayer, period?

This past week our Life Group (small group Bible study) received a prayer request about a couple’s ailing dog, Buddy. Buddy had lost his sight, could not raise his head, and was failing. His owners had to pick him up and physically take him outside, and they had to watch him to keep him from hurting himself by running into walls! They took Buddy to the veterinarian but there was nothing they could do for him. It looked like this was the beginning of the end of Buddy. But nonetheless we prayed for Buddy, and I suspect in our “theological sophistication” we may have done it more to care for and love our friends, not really believing that God cared for or would answer a prayer about a dog. Not only did we pray but so did Buddy’s owner. He went home and laid his hand on his old doggie friend and prayed, “God, you answered Hezekiah’s prayer and gave him 15 more years… would you heal Buddy, and just give him a few more?” And very soon afterward Buddy was healed. Buddy’s sight was restored. Buddy’s head was raised and he stopped running into walls. Buddy’s energy and health is back almost to his prime! He is now running around and playing and can go outside by himself. This was a virtual “doggie resurrection.”

God does answer prayer.  I was so taken aback by how my friend had far more “theological sophistication” than I imagined possible with reference to a dog! He prayed a biblical prayer to the Creator and Sustainer of the universe and was definitively answered! Why should we have doubted this possible? Did God not make all dogs, let alone the whole universe by the power of His Words? Did God not raise Jesus from the dead? Did not God do this for His glory and our benefit? Why do we doubt when we pray? Is anything too trivial or too hard for Him? Buddy and his owners don’t think so… they believe in “doggie resurrections” and the power of prayer.

I, myself, am humbled… and have a new and fresh insight into the power of prayer.

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Power of Resurrection

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Imagine the power it would take to resurrect a man.  God excercised”…the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places…”  Ephesians 1:19-20 ESV

Think about it: Resurrection is not resuscitation but a new domain of human experience.  Resurrection is not like an ER team shocking your dead body back to life after being technically dead for a period of minutes.   Resurrection is not even like Lazarus or the widow’s son who were, though dead for long periods, brought back to life.  These are examples of what might be called resuscitation from dead.  Resurrection is an entirely different thing altogether.

When God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, Jesus wasn’t resuscitated but given a new dimension of experience such that Christ-Jesus-the-man could never die, could be seated at the right hand of God the Father, and could share this new dimension’s power with us in the spiritual realm.  Lazarus, oh how unfortunate he was, had to die two times!  His return from the grave was but an illustration of what God was going to do permanently in the initiation of the resurrection of humanity in Jesus Christ.  Resurrection is permanent and powerful.  The power it takes to not simply raise the dead but to resurrect the dead is beyond magical forces or atomic fusion.

We are told that this new reality is our hope (Eph.1:18).  If you cannot die because you are resurrected, imagine the access to unlimited power you hold in your soul, and what good you can accomplish because you are no longer limited by the power of death or the chaotic domain of earthly life.

It is time to be reminded of the power of our resurrection in Christ and how that power is now permanently applied to us.  It is time to begin to live out the fullness of him whom we are united to in his resurrection (Eph. 1:23).

If you have this much power, and thus inestimable hope, your life ought to be something…  really something…