(Originally written and published on March, 2014.)
There are a lot of different theories as to why God created the animals with whom we share this earth, but I’m pretty sure I’ve figured out the real reason. Because He knew how stupid and stubborn humans would be.
Okay, wait. Just let me explain. We don’t give animals enough credit for how much they know and understand - especially in regards to the spiritual realm. After all, God created them, too. I think He gave them an extra dose of heavenly wisdom so that maybe, hopefully, cross your fingers, we could learn something from them. But we have to be willing to watch and listen.
The other day I had a wedding to attend, and as a result I ended up leaving the golden retriever I am currently caring for at home for a lot longer than I intended. As the minutes ticked by and the hours passed, the guiltier I felt. She’s probably so lonely. Is she hungry? Did she think I left forever? I think I forgot to leave a light on for her. She is probably super mad at me.
I returned home with my chest heavy with guilt. But when I opened the door, I was greeted by the happiest, bounciest dog in the world, her whole body wagging with her tail, jumping up to give me kisses. It was as if she was just meeting me for the first time. I was instantly relieved by her massive display of affection. And then the word GRACE came flooding into my mind, and as I looked into those big brown eyes I swear I saw the face of God. He spoke to me and said, “I AM like this. This is how I love you.”
I tend to forget the vastness of God’s grace and love for me. I tend to put limits on it, which only produces that sense of guilt and failure. I want to return Home, but I am afraid of what I will find. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what we’ve done, and it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been gone. God will stay Home and wait for each and every one of us. And when we finally get there, He will greet us with a wagging tail and a sloppy wet kiss.
So the next time you leave your dog alone for a long time, and they greet you with a ferocious love – know that our God is doing the same thing.