How many of you have dogs? For those of you who don't, or just don't like dogs, you may read this and assume I've lost my mind. Well, you may be right. I probably have lost it, but for those of you who do have dogs and actually like them, you will understand and rescue me from the insane asylum that I'll be locked away in.
Does anyone see the similarities of the word DOG and GOD? If you hold them up to the mirror they would spell GOD and DOG..... get it? So THAT little bit of craziness got me thinking about how much alike the two are. Yes, I know, there are TONS of things that make them different. Maybe I should list a few of those first. #1- I'm pretty sure God doesn't smell like my dog. At least I hope not, because it would be a huge bummer in Heaven if God smelled like He rolled in something rancid.
#2- God is wayyyyyy smarter than my dog. He has to be. Because my dog can't remember his tail isn't another animal trying to sneak up on him and God, in His spare time was able to create the whole universe. I'm so THANKFUL that God is infinitely smarter!
#3- Lastly, or at least the last one that pops into my head is that dogs sleep A LOT! If God slept as much as my dog we would all be in major trouble! So it's probably safe to say that God probably doesn't sleep. PHEW!
NOW, on to why they are so much alike.
First, let me say that I am NOT trying to be disrespectful. Not at all. If you hate dogs (shame on you) then you might suppose that I am. How wrong you would be. If you love dogs then you know what I say is the truth.
#1- Dogs are faithful! No matter how many times we neglect them, they are willing to forgive us and welcome us back into their world. God is so much like that. Psalm 89:33 says "but I will not take my love away from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness". As humans, we are so unfaithful. Whether it be in our prayer life and spending time with the Lord, or saying we will do something and not following through. Thankfully, God isn't like that. Whatever He says He will do, He will do.
#2- Dogs don't remember much, if anything. We go away for the day and when we come home it's like we have been gone forever. The four legged friends are hopping around like they haven't seen us in years. How much is our God like that? We walk away and yet when we finally remember to come "home" God is right there hopping up and down, so excited that we have returned. Luke 15: 11-32 is a perfect example of how ready Christ is to welcome us back. This passage is the one about the prodigal son coming home, knowing he screwed up and assuming (incorrectly) that his father wouldn't really want him back. How wrong he was. The passage tells us his father RAN to him! How neat is that? He didn't meander over and say, "what an idiot, I told you it wouldn't work out", NO. His father RAN to him and wrapped his arms around him and welcomed him home without any condemnation. That is the perfect example of our Lord! Whenever we have walked away, or run away, He is ALWAYS there to RUN to us and welcome us home.
#3- Dogs don't stay angry long and they sure don't hold onto grudges. They are super forgiving, which is a really nice thing. Well, guess what? Yep. So is GOD. I am so thankful for God's forgiveness. I have screwed up in big, HUGE ways sooooo many times that I would be in deep water if God hadn't forgiven me. I'm sure by now, I would have drowned. But, nope. God is so cool that He forgives us and best of all, He doesn't hold our stupidness against us. Micah 7:18,19 tells us "who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea" also, 1 John 1:9 says "if we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us and purify us from all unrighteousness"
How awesome. How completely awesome. Think about it! We screw up. That is a given. It's going to happen no matter how hard we try. BUT, if we realize we have sinned, and ask for Him to forgive us, He will. Simple as that. People don't always do that, cats don't do that. But God ALWAYS does that.
#4 Lastly. Is that a word? Odd little word. Anyway, the last thing that I can think of is the way dogs just love us. They look at us with their big dark eyes, so full of love, no matter how ugly, rotten and grumpy we are. When we have had a bad day, they just snuggle up to us, or quietly put their head next to us to let us know they care. The God I love and serve is so much like that. He loves us so unconditionally, and completely. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 31:3 " I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness" Another great verse is:
Titus 3: 4-5 “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
But best of all is John 3:16 which says "for God so loved the world, that He gave us His son. That who ever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life"
Did you get that? I sometimes forget. But this verse spells it out so clearly. God loved us SO MUCH. So much people! That HE (God) gave us His ONE AND ONLY son. Not number 5 or 8, but His ONLY one! All we have to do is believe that Christ died for us because we are sinners and we get to live with Him forever. Not until he gets sick of us, or wants to trade us in, but FOREVER! Cool? I think so.
So, I just think it's cool that my smelly dog reminds me of how awesome and great my God is. Maybe it's a silly analogy, and slightly odd, but isn't that just like God to use simple things to remind us that He is in everything? Even our four legged friends.