As I prepared to go on a road trip recently, I cleaned my house, cleaned my fridge, arranged for childcare, I mean a dog sitter, and packed my car. My sweet, mostly innocent, completely dependent, seventy-pound lap dog, Belle, followed me around with utter devotion and curiosity. If you have ever known a Weimaraner, you know they can suffer from separation anxiety. The thought of her being sad because I am gone, makes me sad and consider not going on my trip. Looking in those sad, puppy-dog eyes as I am getting ready to walk out the door just about kills me.
Car packed and waiting for my other half, I settled in my big comfy chair for one more puppy snuggle before we left. Belle settled herself partly on the chair, mostly on my lap and almost purred with contentment. Then it dawned on me. I need to be dependent on my Abba Father, the way my dog depends on me. She knows I love and care for her and depends on me for everything without worry. Matthew Six gives us a good picture of this. “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
I know, left to her own devices, she could feed herself, walk herself, and basically survive. But why would you eat lizards and gophers when you have a feast of Blue Buffalo waiting inside? If we are children of The King, why do so often live like paupers? Jesus told us that He came not to just give life, but to give life more abundantly. John 10:10
Why would you chase cars and birds when you could take a walk with your best friend? When I put on my walking shoes, Belle goes into hyperdrive. Her whole body wags, she chases me around so I can’t even sit to tie my shoes. The neighbor has even called to make sure all is well, because they heard Belle making so much noise. She is so excited to be with me and go on an adventure that she can hardly contain herself. Sometimes we struggle about who is taking whom for a walk, but ultimately, she knows, I am the boss, and we go where I say.
So often we fight against what is best for us. Sometimes we chase ideas or dreams that distract us from our number one goal, to walk with God. Unlike me, the dog owner, God is always ready to walk with his people. We should be as excited as Belle that the Creator of the Universe wants to walk with us. Our whole being should rejoice that we get to walk with God.
Not only do we get to walk with God, Matthew Eleven tells us that when we do, and when we turn the reins over to him, it will make our way easier. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
For years, “someone” would faithfully give Belle the last bite of toast. As a result, every time I sit down at the table with food, Belle eagerly and expectantly waits. She often taps my knee as a reminder that she is there and would like to share in my meal. I can think of many allegories that fit this scenario, but Matthew seven probably covers it best. “Ask and it shall be given to you.” Matthew 7:7 And Matthew 7:9-11 You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.Don’t be afraid to ask God for His provision and blessing. He desires to give us good and perfect gifts.
God created man so He could walk and talk with us. He created animals so we could enjoy and learn from His creation. Enjoy what he has given us. Learn from what we may take for granted or think of as simple.
Job 12:7-10“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
Oh and another thing… When the roaring lions (the dogs from across the street) come barreling down the hill with evil intent, Belle lifts her head and focuses on home, completely turning her back on the temptation to get caught up in a pointless battle. I need to be so focused on God, His work, His faithfulness that the angry enemy cannot distract me from my purpose.
A simple walk with my dog can be a sacred moment with God. What lessons have you learned from God’s creatures?