Earlier today, I was sitting between my two long-haired dachshund doggies. Gracie, a mild-mannered yet stubborn chubby girl and wild man Jack, the ear-piercing yapper, had sandwiched me in with a tug of war game going on for my attention.
In their own special way, they have the capability of making this preacher want to cuss at times. I’m just kidding, but I thought it made a catchy blog title.
Gracie is quiet and melancholy. She doesn’t make a fuss about much and is 100% house trained. At first glance, you would say she’s the perfect dog. But you should try to take this chubby girl for a walk. It ain’t happening! She will dig her fat back legs and hips into the ground like a mule, and there is no budging her. She’s quiet and somewhat low maintenance, but in her own special way, she is a hot mess.
Then there is Jack. He is a high-strung dog, and he is a big mess. He loves all people and assumes all people love him. However, his worst character trait is his glass-shattering bark that happens every time he is afraid. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that frighten him! He is frightened by the mailman, the garbage truck, any and everyone who walks up to the door, any sudden noise, shouts or loud talking on TV, and even loud voices on speaker on the phone. But, go figure, he is not afraid of thunderstorms and heavy rain.
When any of these things happen, he goes nuts! He will bark until the person has passed my home or comes inside. Once you are inside my home, Jack believes you are his new toy, and he loves you. This ferocious dog becomes mush once you cross the threshold. So much for him guarding the home!
This horrible bark of Jack’s is at its worst if you are on the phone or taking a Sunday afternoon nap. It’s like an alarm that could wake the dead. Jack also has tendencies to be jealous and will walk away if I am paying attention to Gracie.
There have been times where consistent training was attempted to aid in their behavior and then fell by the wayside. I am sure this was a master error and not a dog error. Thoughts of calling in a real expert, like the dog whisperer, Cesar-what’s-his-name, have crossed my mind, but I have not followed through.
Today, as I sat on the floor playing with these two rotten doggies, I thought about my relationship with the Lord.
Even though Jack and Gracie have quirky personalities, I love these dogs. I know they are just dogs. I totally get that. They bring me joy. It warms my heart to come home and know that they are excited that I did.
Sure, their inability or downright choice to not obey me at times is irritating. Jack’s bark hurts my ears. Gracie’s stubbornness is tiring. They don’t add anything to the income of the home. They are complete liabilities to the household. Ha. All they do is eat, bark, sleep and, you know, bark some more.
Not once would they be considered an asset, yet I really like these dogs. No, I don’t just like them; I really love these rotten canines.
I think this is a glimpse of our relationship with God.
I’m sure if these two dogs belonged to someone else that I would not think them to be as wonderful as I do. If they belonged to someone else, I wouldn’t be investing in their well-being, such as feeding them, taking them to the vet, making sure they are tick-and-flea-free, picking up poop from the yard, and all the stuff you do when you are a good pet owner.
But the deal is they are mine. I take care of all their needs. And that makes all the difference in the world.
It is just like our walk with the Lord. As believers, we are His. He takes care of all our needs. He does not accept us based on our behavior. Our acceptance is based on the finished work of Christ and our acceptance of Him as our Savior. From that point on, we are His. Indeed, this relationship will come with some training and correcting, but the love and care will never be based on my perfect performance.
Even more great news is that there will never be a Master error. His ways of dealing with me, leading me, and teaching me are always perfect. He doesn’t tire in working with me. He knows that I can be stubborn, and I can be fearful. Neither of these traits is pleasing to Him, nor do they bring glory to Him. But He is faithful to continually work with me. He promises to finish the work He has started in me. I don’t have to clean up and do right before He takes me into His family. But praise be to God!! He loves me too much to leave me in that place.
He is a loving Father. He can be trusted. In an atmosphere of divine love, my heart’s desire is to be like Him. I don’t want to be in fear. I don’t want to be stubborn. Unlike Jack and Gracie, my greatest desire is to hear the Master, Creator, Savior, and King say to me one day, “Well done!”
To grow in this walk, I constantly ask myself the following questions:
- When I hear Him, do I obey quickly, or do I dig my heels in and refuse to obey?
- Is fear involved in my disobedience?
- What hinders me from immediate obedience?
Thanks be to God. He is patient, kind, and gentle with His children. O, what a Savior!
Featured Image by Joseph Pearson
In-Text Image by Cheryl Cannon