Whenever I come home, it’s celebration time. Gracie and Marley go wild. Tails waggin’, tongues hanging out, jumping up and down to beat the band. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone for 10 hours or 10 minutes, they can’t wait to get some lovin’.
I always go to our bedroom and lie down on the bed. Then I say, “Where’s my babies? Have I got any babies in here?” They jump up on the bed and just wiggle all over me until they roll over on their backs to get their tummies rubbed. Then they get real still, not moving a muscle, as if their moving would cause me to stop. To say I love my babies would be an understatement.
When dog owners are polled, 60 percent say they would not take a million dollars for their dog. Some things, money can’t buy. How many people do you know who get that excited whenever they see you? I’ll bet not very many, if any.
How much would you give to have someone to love you like Gracie and Marley love me?
God put a need to be loved and appreciated in every human heart. Dogs reflect the nature of God (God reflected in a mirror is dog.) They love us unconditionally. You can scream at them to leave you alone and 10 seconds later ask for some loving, and they will run right back to you and lick you in the face. Even our spouses don’t love us like that.
Don’t believe it? OK, try locking your wife and your dog in the trunk of your car for an hour. Then open the trunk and see which one jumps out and licks you in the face.
God loves us like that. He longs to fill our hearts to overflowing with His unconditional love. He is just waiting for us to trust Him enough to allow Him to do so. Just like a dog, He trusts us far more than we trust Him.
How sad. All He ever wants to do is love us, take away our fears and worries, fill us with joy and simply enjoy life together with us. It breaks His heart whenever we really want to trust Him and can’t quite muster up enough courage to do so. But He understands. God gave me a visual aid last night.
We came home late. Wanda had the bed stripped while washing the sheets. The bedspread covered the bench at the foot of the bed the babies use to climb up. Marley was unsure if that bench was still there since he couldn’t see it for the covers. I laid on the bed waiting for my love fest and nothing happened. Wanda came in and saw Marley pacing frantically back and forth at the foot of the bed wanting desperately to get to her Master, but his fear had kept us apart.
Wanda picked him up and put him beside me. He was in heaven.
Then I got up and started out of the room. Marley danced back and forth still afraid to jump down on the hidden bench. I said, “Come on, boy! Let’s get something to eat.”
He just couldn’t do it, even after my coaxing him over and over, that it was OK.
When I came back to pick him up, he just laid down with his little head between his paws as if he was ashamed he couldn’t do it. I picked him up, held him close to my chest and let the rhythms of my heart speak peace to his soul. I told him it was OK to be afraid. I understood how it felt to be afraid, too.
I put him down on the floor, and we ran off together to get something to eat. As we did, I could hear the Lord speaking to me.
“Kenny, I know what it’s like to be afraid, too, just like Marley. I know you really want to trust Me with everything, but sometimes you just can’t see if there is something solid to stand on because there are so many distractions. I am not disappointed in you. I’m crazy wild about you, just like Marley. And whenever fear paralyzes you as it sometimes will, I will be there to carry you as well. Now come over here and give Me some lovin’.”
“His perfect love for us drives away our fear. This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us.” (1 John 4:10, 18)
We do have someone who loves us more than Marley and Gracie love me. I can only imagine.
Kenny Ashley is the leader of The Journey, which meets at 10:30 a.m. Sundays at Crowders Creek Elementary School.