This is Lil Dawg, my front porch ‘study buddy.’ Our morning routine is a fairly simple one. Once I’ve showered, dressed, and am ready for the day, we go outside. I walk down the driveway to get my newspaper and he goes to the yard to do his business. Then he sits on my lap as we survey the scenery enjoying the world before us. He keeps his eye out for a chipmunk who lives in the flower bed in front of the porch. After a few minutes, he gets into his chair and I read my paper, spend some devotional time with the Lord, and then dig into some Bible study. It’s a nice way to start to the day.
Today was different. As I picked up my paper at the end of the drive, I saw him racing across my neighbor’s yard headed straight for the county road. I imagine it was a squirrel or something that caught his eye, but all I could see was him running full speed to a a dangerous place. Immediately I shouted at him and thankfully, he stopped and ran back to me.
But the rest of the morning wasn’t the same. He sat on my lap, but he wasn’t acting quite right. He kept looking back at me like he wasn’t sure what I was going to do next. I had reprimanded him and he wasn’t sure how to take it. It was for his own good, for his safety. I did what I had to do because I did’t want him to get hurt. To be quite honest, I also didn’t want to experience the heartache and pain of seeing him injured or killed.
Now I don’t know what goes on in a dog’s mind. But my imagination tells me that he was wondering what my problem was. After all, he was only doing what a dog does. You see a squirrel, you chase him down and run him off. (We’ve had squirrels in our attic and to be honest, I’m all in favor of keeping them away from the house!) He was acting true his nature. He’s a dog. He was doing his part to protect our home from the invader. He was doing me a favor. But I saw the big picture. While he was attempting to accomplish a great deed for me, I knew he was out of his league and needed to leave that task in my hands. Well, Lil Dawg didn’t stay on the porch this morning. He went into the house and right now is laying behind a chair taking a nap.
I wonder how many times I’ve run full speed into a situation attempting to accomplish something for my Master in my own abilities only to be reprimanded out of love and concern for my well being? (To be honest, I don’t have nearly enough fingers and toes to count that high!) Today, I’ve thought of my Father’s heart. I wonder how many times His heart ached when I’ve taken off on my own? It’s not that He can’t handle whatever mess I get myself into. It’s that He loves me so much that He wants me to listen to His commands and respect the perfect boundaries He’s set in my life. He calls me down out of love. He wants me to trust His ability and wisdom.
When reprimanded by my Master, my thoughts tend to lean into how disappointed I am with myself; how I’ve messed up, how I feel. Today, I am thankful for a loving God who taught me about His heart and His love for me.
By the way, before I could finish this post, Lil Dawg heard a truck pulling my neighbor’s drive. He wanted out on the porch to check things out. Once he knew we were safe, he went back to work.
All is well. I’ve got my study buddy back with me on the porch. All is well for there is nothing I can do to make my Master love me less than with an infinite, perfect, saving love.
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