Have you ever done something with the best of intentions only to have it turn out very wrong? I have had that happen to me several times in my life.
I am a “fixer” by nature. When I see a loved one suffering, I feel compelled to do whatever I can to “fix” the problem. Unfortunately, some of my past efforts were not appreciated – especially by my two younger sisters who must have felt that I was being a busy-body, know-it-all, older sister.
Recently, I ventured into another one of my “good intentions”. My hubby LOVES dogs (he had three of them together at one time in his previous marriage) and he has wanted a dog for the past six years. Unfortunately, our rental homes did not allow dogs. But two years ago, we were finally able to buy our own home and he started looking at dog rescue shelter websites. He also started looking at Great Danes!! For a number of reasons, mainly health and finances, we were not able to follow through with a doggie adoption last year.
This past winter, my darling hubby has been having a real struggle with migraines, chronic fatigue and depression. In my love and concern for him, I asked if having a dog would help him cope and he said yes. I found a local ad for a smooth coat collie, named Lola, who had had a bit of a rough start in the beginning of her life and needed a new home. I made arrangements for a “meet and greet” and it was “like at first sight” between my hubby and Lola and she became the newest member of our household.
I had such high hopes for my latest “good intention”!
But – things did not turn out as I had planned. 😦
Lola, although good-natured and affectionate, was a HANDFUL, to say the least! She needed constant watching or she would get into mischief. She had anxiety issues and kept jumping up on us and licking us until we were covered in dog slobber. And she was the canine embodiment of the ADHD child! We just couldn’t keep her busy enough.
To make matters worse, I was battling severe foot pain and my hubby was battling increased migraines. The added stress of a very needy dog was wreaking havoc with my mental and physical well-being. To say that I was getting grumpy would be putting it mildly!
So we came to the difficult decision to re-home Lola. Surprisingly to me, it was a very difficult decision. I didn’t realize that I had become so fond of Lola (she was really affectionate). I was filled with grief and spent the day weeping. I also struggled with strong feelings of guilt. I felt like we had let Lola down. (Yes, I know that she is “just a dog” but dogs have feelings too! LOL) And I was very frustrated that yet again, another one of my good intentions had back-fired.
When we do something with the best of intentions and it backfires, it can cause us to have feelings of grief, guilt and frustration. It can also make us feel like we should never try to do anything “with the best of intentions” again.
But in God’s Word, the apostle Paul tells us just the opposite:
2Th 3:13 But you, brothers, do not be weary in well doing.
Jesus was the prime example of doing good for others.
Act 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and He went about doing good, and healing all those who were oppressed by the Devil, for God was with Him.
Jesus was also the poster boy for how having good intentions can often blow up in your face. After all, he was unjustly accused, unjustly tried, unjustly tortured and unjustly crucified because of, and despite, his good intentions!
Isa 53:4, 5 Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was on Him; and with His stripes we ourselves are healed.
God tells us that we are to continue doing good, no matter the cost or the outcome.
1Pe 2:19 For this is a grace, if for conscience toward God anyone endures grief, suffering wrongfully.
1Pe 2:20 For what glory is it if you patiently endure while sinning and being buffeted? But if you suffer while doing good, and patiently endure, this is a grace from God.
1Pe 2:21 For you were not called to this? For Christ also suffered on our behalf, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps,
I think that carrying out good intentions must be a two step process – the heart feels and the head guides. My problem with my good intentions is that I often act using the heart only rather than using the head as well. I need to learn to take that heart feeling to God and ask Him for His wisdom to guide me in that situation.
Jas 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him.
I need to listen to “that still, small voice” which is God’s holy spirit speaking to, and guiding, my holy spirit. If I follow His lead, then even if my good intentions don’t turn out as I had planned, at least I know that I have done all that I know to do and I will have peace.
As for Lola, she is doing very well in her new foster home where she has two other dogs to play with in a large, fenced yard.