Tiptoeing Behind God

We have three dogs and a bird. No, I'm not kidding.  All four have been rescued and believe they now own us. Through them, I have learned a lot over the years. Some people think that animals don't matter, that they act out of basic instinct alone, yet, as I observe ours and the dogs out on the streets and in the homes of our neighbours, I see remarkable intelligence and a capability to love and to be loved in all of them.

Today, Judah ran away from home. This is the second time he's done that. His wanderlust getting the better of him when he should know better. When he and Maddy discovered that they were able to unlatch the small gate that leads to the small yard where they hang out during the day, while Luis and I were out on the street in front of the house with Mayah, they came bolting out to join us. That was fine since we were out there but when it was time for all of us to get back inside, the other two went inside obediently while Judah ran past the house and sped up to go around the corner so we could not go after him. We didn't. We knew he was being rebellious, wanting to push his limits to see how far he could go with us. We knew he would come home when he had enough but we were concerned he would reach the main streets where there was traffic. At that moment, however, we were pretty upset with him.

We looked and called for him around some grassy lots but he didn't come when called. We turned and walked back the way we had come to go for our walk and a few yards later, I heard this tap-tapping sound coming from behind us. Quietly, attempting to be as silent as possible, there was Judah walking a few feet behind us, attempting to get home unseen. He froze when he realized he'd been spotted. Luis took him home and I was told later that when he tried to get Judah into a submissive position to reprimand him, Judah tried to bite him. That was absolutely unacceptable.

When we returned from our walk, the other two were happy to see us but Judah was curled up with his back to us, sulking, with one eye on us to see if we noticed. We ignored him and when it was time to get both Maddy and Judah into the back porch, he disobeyed me twice. I can be patient when I need to be but when the line has been crossed, I don't play nice anymore. I do not resort to physical violence of any sort but I do use a lot of emphasis with objects pounding on the ground and this time it was the broomstick pounding hard against the porch floor emphasizing each and every one of my words to Judah before I left him out in the yard on his own with the knowledge that he had better stay there and not try to get into the porch by his own means which he has shown previously that he is very capable of.

Some might say that dogs don't understand language. I beg to differ. Judah definitely understood, and more than just understand that both Luis and I were upset at him, he was fearful. Not of being hit or abused physically as we have never done that before. He was simply terrified we would stop loving him. I didn't realize this until we went out to feed them before putting them to bed for the night and when I opened the gate to allow him onto the back porch, he humbly and quietly came up to me and crouched down at my feet in a submissive position. This is not how Judah works. Judah has never done that on his own accord even after we've disciplined him previously. As soon as I bent down to pet him and to let him know I forgave him, he was happy again in a very humble way. And when he went back out to the yard to relieve himself after eating, he waited for one of us to give him permission to get back in which was also something he had never done before.

I saw a parallel here with our relationship with God.

No, God does not pound broomsticks on the ground to emphasize His words. Moses might have done that and perhaps, God might too, just that it wasn't recorded in the bible. All funny thoughts aside, us humans, we're a lot like my dog Judah. We know we have boundaries and we know what we should obey but we so often see how far we can push our limits and as soon as we think we have a head start on God we start running faster so that He can't catch up. When He goes looking for us, we crouch down low in the tall grass ignoring His calls. Then, when we think He isn't looking, we attempt to tiptoe quietly behind Him trying to make our way home. When we are caught, we play the "I have my rights" game, turn our backs on Him and sulk. It is only when the consequences of our actions start to catch up with us that we begin to fear that we might have royally wrecked it for ourselves.

The good thing with Judah was that he didn't hold on to his pride. Trust me, I know our dog and he has huge pride, like massive quantities of it. He has never voluntarily placed himself in a submissive role before Luis nor I so that was a huge step. The fact that he chose to admit wrongdoing in dog language was really good. He could have done what he's always done before, pretend nothing happened and ignore us until the next day. But, he didn't. This time, he chose to admit fault and sought to say he was sorry.

That is what God wants from us when we do the same thing. We've sometimes tried to run from Him, pushed His limits with our actions, downright disobeyed Him without flinching and at the end of the day, when we realize we are separated from Him and are alone because of the consequences of our own actions, we have but only two choices; we can pretend that all is well when it is not, or we can humble ourselves, admit that we have really made a mess of things and come to the Lord and ask His forgiveness.

Maybe, like Judah, we are afraid He won't love us any more or that He won't forgive us. That, my friend, could not be further from the truth. If we know the character of our God, we will know that even if He speaks with a thunderous voice and pounds a broom against the floor at some point in time, He will not stop loving us. And like any father who loves his kids, when we ask God's forgiveness, He will not withhold it. His love for us knows no bounds and is deeper and wider than we can imagine and His rules are for our own good, to keep us from getting hurt, not to spoil our fun.

If you have been running from God and feel that things have gone too far and you're too deep in the muck and mud of your situation, just stop running. Don't let pride get in the way. Come to Him. It's as simple as that. Admit your wrongdoing, admit that you need Him to clean you of the filth that you can't get rid of, and ask His forgiveness. He is waiting for you with His arms wide open and has never stopped loving you.

Words can only go so far so it's best you find out for yourself. C'mon, your Father is waiting for you.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
                                      Romans 8:38-39


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