Almost a decade ago, a boy walked into my life. He stole this heart of mine. His love and encouragement are unlike anything else. He gives me hugs. He cuddles with me. His big brown eyes look deeply into mine.
On this earth, only he hears the deepest parts of my heart vocalized. He listens and his unconditional love never fails. His kisses are rare, but given just when I need them the most. Seeing his silly smile and frantic jumping when I come home makes me understand just how lucky I am to have this guy in my life. Aren’t dogs just the greatest?
I have a wonderful dog who I aptly named, Buddy. He’s cute, furry, loving, and completely incapable of being quiet, but that’s just how I like him. I know this next part may sound weird, but it’s still true. It’s like that old joke come to settle in my life. You know… the one about dog being God spelled backwards. Every time I think about Buddy, I can’t help but think of how wonderful it is to have a living, breathing, adorable example of unconditional love.
While Buddy is certainly no Savior, his affection is free. In fact, he offers many examples. Let me see if I can list a few. So, okay, there’s unconditional love and affection (really, there’s nothing I can do to make him love me more or less). His loyalty seems without measure. He’s protective. He’s definitely jealous for me. He provides comfort. He’s intuitive about my feelings…happy when I’m happy, sympathetic when I’m down…amazing. He’s playful. He’s joyful. He’d choose me and my family over anything else in this world (well, except at breakfast time). Okay, so he’s not a perfect example. Still that dog is one great image of my Lord and King.
Now how does this relate to life? According to Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” It’s pretty clear to see Buddy is meant to be a witness to God. Everything God created is his witness. Looking around, I see his handiwork everywhere. Do you? Can you see, in the most common things, how the God of the universe left his fingerprints? Sure you can see his work in the night sky or the beautiful sun warming the ground, but can you see His work in the small things?
Here’s my favorite part about this whole “d-o-g to G-o-d” thing. According to Romans 8:5-7, seeing the hand of God’s creation, being reminded of his character, and thinking about him as a result, is actually the work of the Holy Spirit in my life.
Hold the phone…
I’m sorry…don’t mind me, I’m just having an “I love God” overload right now.
Listen to what the Apostle Paul was moved by the Holy Spirit to write: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot (Romans 8:5-7).
Hold up. Did you read that right? If you live according to the Spirit your mind is on the things of the Spirit. In Romans 8, this “living according to the Spirit” thing is referred to as “walk…according to the Spirit,” as “live according to the Spirit,” as “in the Spirit,” and as “led by the Spirit.” If Jesus is our Savior, the very fact that we have God-thoughts means the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives. That means God the Father and God the Son are also in play. The Trinity is involving Himself in the life of a believer at that very moment. The Creator of Heaven and Earth—who is eternal, immortal, invisible, holy, perfect, righteous, and the very definition of love—will do that? Yup. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. According to the Bible, thinking about him, recalling his word, remembering he’s our Abba Father knowing heaven awaits, and much, much more are all indicators that God is at work in the life of a believer at that very moment. The same Spirit that inspired Paul to write Romans, is active in the life every Christian. This is some pretty crazy stuff. I don’t know if you’re getting it, but if you are, you’ve gotta be freaking out with me.
Oh, Lord! I just don’t deserve this love. But I’m not about to turn it away for anything else this world has to offer. Thank you for having a relationship with me. Thanks for walking through my life with me, holding my hand in comfort, and looking over my actions with your infinite wisdom. You are truly too wonderful for any words I could ever say, but the fact that you say you rejoice in my worship just puts this massive smile on my face and these tears of joy in my eyes. I can’t wait to have your promise fulfilled. I can’t wait to see your face and all its beauty in your full glory, to wrap my arms around your neck and have you kiss my forehead. This is the day I long for. This is the goal of my whole life. I’ll go through whatever this life brings me just so I can dwell forever with you. Give my brothers and sisters this reality I live with. Let them come to recognize your presence and your blessings in their lives. It’s too awesome not to come to understand.
Amen…until next time