Saturday, May 16, 2020

Love Lessons From A Dog

Year 8-Day 136: Today, I am grateful for love lessons from a dog. 

My friend Jenny Miller posted the best video this week. It was the push I needed to write this post about a dog's love that has been brewing in the back of my mind. 

In English, "Dog" is "God" spelled backwards. Yes, the same letters, simply reversed. Now, I know God is far greater than our dogs, but there is still some comparisons I can't help but make. 

What if we loved God like we do our dogs? What if we inconvenienced ourselves for God... like we do for our pets? What if we loved God... and others... the way our dogs love us? We can't wait to get home to our fur-babies. Do we feel that way about spending time with the Master of the Universe? 

I know what you are thinking. Frankly, some dogs are better than some people. (You were thinking it, I just said it.) It's true. There is a selfless love that our pets demonstrate that humbles us. As humans, we struggle to humble ourselves. We struggle to put another's needs first. That is why Jesus reminded us that we had to love God with our whole hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. 

The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” -Luke 10:27

Our God already loves us with the wild abandonment our dogs show for us. Like our dogs... He would... and did die for us. His nature is to protect us. Our 2-year-old, Daisy Mae, has been learning "the rules" since we brought her home. She isn't perfect yet, but she has already come so far from her early puppy days. She doesn't know the house rules are for her protection and ours. She only knows that she has to obey the rules and we are displeased if she doesn't. Because she loves us, she wants to please us. She makes mistakes and shows remorse. 

In the same light, God doesn't necessarily spell out the reasons for all of His "rules". He doesn't have to.  HE IS GOD! Still, over the course of time, science usually catches up to reveal that His rules are for our good... for our physical health, relationship health and mental health. 

God didn't come up with the Ten Commandments to make us miserable. They are in place so that we can live more fully and more freely. He wants us to live without regret, without crippling guilt and without fear. Following His Word and His Ways will increase the goodness in our days. 

Daisy Mae doesn't love a leash when we walk but it helps her stay safe. She doesn't like to have her muddy feet wiped, but she is learning it keeps the house clean. She loves when we provider her with meals and treats. She loves when we invite her to be wherever we are. She loves when she can rest on us or near us. She knows she has to be invited outside when the garage door opens. She knows the yard boundaries she is allowed between our house and her favorite neighbor, Zeus. 

As you watch this video, note that Millie's body language changes the closer her person, Clare, comes. At the end, she rolls on her back with love, affection and vulnerability. Do we love Him back with the courage to be vulnerable? Do we get excited when He whispers our name?

I think is perfect that dog is God spelled backwards. 

Today, I am grateful for love lessons from a dog. 

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