A little story that I told on a recent Sunday morning provoked a reaction among some dog owners, and for that I want to redeem myself by saying some nice things about said dogs.
The story spoke of one time when I was distributing invitations for our church in Esch sur Alzette, Luxembourg. There it’s legal to put things in mailboxes so I was inviting people in this way. Some of the houses didn’t have letter boxes but letter slots in the bottom of the door and here’s where the adventure came in.
At one particular house, I bent down to slide an invitation through the slot. I was thinking about, I don’t know what, when suddenly a little dog on the other side of the door exploded with a high-pitched, “Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! etc.!”
I nearly jumped over the roof of the apartment house! Afterwards, I imagined a little Yip Yip dog on the other side of the door, rubbing his paws together and giggling. “Chalk up another one,” he thought.
“Grrr…” I thought.
So, I was a little disparaging in my comments about Yip Yip dogs in my message and I had some good-natured responses afterward. For that reason I’ve decided to pontificate about the value of Yip Yip dogs.
First of all, for those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s those little dogs who must weigh about eight pounds. The weight is distributed like this: three pounds—hair; four pounds–vocal cords (tuned to a very high pitch); and one pound–dog.
Some people think that bulldogs and Dobermans (Dobermen?) are the best watchdogs, but give me a Yip Yip dog every time. First of all there is the obvious advantage of upkeep—they don’t eat nearly as much.
But their value goes far beyond this. Let me illustrate. You’re soundly sleeping one night when an intruder sneaks through your kitchen. Suddenly he’s confronted by your bulldog, who growls ferociously and attacks. If the bandit is armed he starts firing, and it could end up like the shoot-out at the OK corral.
Imagine though, that our thief is sneaking through your kitchen when suddenly he steps on the tail of your Yip Yip dog in the dark. “Aeee! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! (times 1,000).”
You leap from the bed, run downstairs and turn on the light. The intruder lies on the floor, grasping his chest, wheezing. Your Yip Yip dog stands two feet away, barking furiously at the stranger. “Call the ambulance!” the miscreant croaks painfully.
Your possessions are safe, you are safe, and your Yip Yip dog is safe. You only have to pray for the thief.
There’s a little caveat here, though. Some dog owners allow their Yip Yip dogs to sleep on their bed. This is not good because if he’s on your bed when he goes off, you may be the one who suffers the heart attack instead of the intruder. And these little guys have sensitive triggers. It’s not always bad guys who make them explode. Sometimes it’s flies, mosquitoes, or who knows what?
Put the dog in the kitchen.
Though I’ve disparaged these cute (?) critters at times by my remarks, I suspect that if we were all changed into a breed of dogs, there would be more Yip Yip dogs among us than Bulldogs, Irish Setters, Collies, or other noble breeds.
You see, these small fellows get the job done. They don’t cut a fantastic figure like some of their more flashy counterparts, they just quietly go about their job (no, cross the quietly out); they just do their job.
In the Bible, Paul sometimes felt like a Yip Yip dog. He had some sort of weakness that should have limited his effectiveness. But the apostle just saw it as an opportunity for God to show up and help him do a job that he should have been too weak to do.
“Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’”
Paul even came to rejoice in the small stature and squeaky voice of a Yip Yip person.
“Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.” (2 Cor. 12:7-12, The Message)
Truth of the matter is, when people see our inability, then consider what we’re able to accomplish, they often say, “That’s got to be God! He could never do that.” And so the glory goes right where it belongs—to the Lord.
So, if you feel like your just a Yip Yip dog in this life, don’t despair. Rejoice, that God can use little things.
And take advantage of your gifts to scare the socks off of someone every once in awhile. “Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip!” (Hee, hee, hee!)