There are a lot of analogies out there about dogs and God. And I’ve always agreed with them because I’ve owned some pretty wonderful dogs in my lifetime. The unconditional love. The extreme loyalty. Fierce protectors. Then there’s Strudel the Poodle. He’s a miniature poodle we rescued as a replacement for our 15 year old Border Collie who had recently died.
It was a sorry replacement.
Even though I was the only one in the family who didn’t want another dog, Strudel decided he was mine. And it’s super annoying. He follows me everywhere. He is constantly under my feet. If I go to another room, he’s there. He is not happy unless he’s sitting in between me and my husband. He sits in my husbands lap while I get ready for work, and he just stares at me. It’s a bit creepy. He is constantly licking, which I cannot stand. My only escape from him is hiding on my boy’s bunk bed, but then he sits at the bottom of the ladder and whimpers.
When you take him to the park and tie the leash to a pole, this is what happens.
Strudel takes off down the street at every opportunity. We’ve lost him at least a dozen times, sometimes overnight. Somehow, he ends up back at our house. The neighbors now know where to bring him back. He does not like being alone. How do I know? Whoever is the last one to leave the house, that is the person he picks out to urinate on their side of the bed. Unless we’ve been on the couch, then he pees on the couch. Oh yes. Countless times. We joked several times about getting rid of him, but we kept giving him chances to redeem himself.
One night, recently, the whole family was home and I was in the living room sitting on our beanbag chair. Then I went into my kids’ room to help them get ready for bed. I came back in the living room, and Strudel had peed all over the chair right where I was sitting, and on my phone! While. We. Were. Home. I was in shock. And I was done being patient. He was a goner. We tried for weeks to find him a new home. No takers. I was so mad, I couldn’t even look him in the eye. My husband said I should take it as a compliment, for clearly the dog was jealous. Maybe I should embrace it? No way. I was too mad.
Then one Sunday morning as I rose early to have my time with God on the couch, I saw Strudel waiting for me. As soon as I sat down, he curled up next to me, put his head on my leg, and went to sleep. And I thought, “He just wants to be with me.” There it was.
We’d had the dog for nearly 6 years and it took me almost that long to see the connection God wanted me to see.
And I know this now in my heart of hearts: God wants to be with us.
If you have a few extra seconds, read that sentence over and over again and emphasize a different word each time.
God is omnipotent and omnipresent and He clearly doesn’t NEED us. But He WANTS us. And He wants to be WITH us. He is indeed a jealous God and does not want our attention diverted elsewhere. And He is often annoying in His tactics to get our attention. I did nothing to merit the love given to me by my dog, if anything, I gave him reasons to hate me. Yet he loves. And so does God, even when we misbehave or don’t give Him the glory. He loves, and He loves all the time. He cannot do anything else.
Thus says the Lord : “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”
Jeremiah 31:2-3 ESV
So, what are you seeking today? The Lord will appear, He will love you, and He will be faithful. You will survive. And you will find grace.