What Is That In Your Mouth?
As I yell, “Drop it!”, I once again find myself looking into the woeful eyes of my 7-month-old puppy. She has chewed up her latest random sock stolen from a laundry basket, full of clothes waiting to be washed. I look at her, feeling of both love and frustration. As I pick her up, ready to berate her for continuing to chew on things when she has so many ‘chew toys’ to chew on, the only thing I could come up with is “You are bad but I love you.”
Really? That is the best I could do? No wonder she is the perpetual ‘sock monster’. But, there was something about the innocence in her eyes that said I’m sorry that served as a reminder to me that she recognizes the error but just couldn’t help herself as she walked past the temptation of another sock dangling from the basket – she is, after all, a puppy. I remembered my older dog having the same ‘temptation’ when she was a puppy and knew that eventually this phase would pass (hopefully) and socks around the world (or my house at least) will be free to live good long lives.
This incident also reminds me of God’s love when we mess up. He probably looks at me many times and says “You are bad but I love you”. Actually, the Bible tells us that God sees the best in us – always. He knew (and knows) we are going to fall, mess up and be tempted by the very things we know we shouldn’t do and reminds that 1) we really do have the strength to resist and 2) even when we fall, He is like a caring Father with big, loving hands extended to help us up. He dusts us off, checks to make sure we are okay, and sends us on our way.
I Love You
Daniel 9:9 says –
9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him;
The wonderful thing about God’s love in this verse is He doesn’t focus on the mistakes we make. God says to us, “You were bad, I may need to discipline you but remember it is only because I love you and need you to learn the path to righteousness. That is what is best for you”
In some respects, I guess that is what I want for my puppy – I don’t want to her to choke on the lint balls from the socks or get sick from possible dirt on them, so I discipline her to keep her safe.
Isn’t love grand? Even better, isn’t God’s love for us grander? So much so, He sent His only begotten Son in Jesus to die for us to have life (John 3:16)!