My parents have been out of town for the last few weeks and in their absence, I’ve been in charge of looking after their beloved 2lb pup Jonesie. I’m not much of a dog person, and have never been. In college I actually gave a passionate speech about my disdain for dogs - it was very passionate. I just don’t like pets and I don’t like them in my home. I don’t like the smell, the hair, the licking, the poo-poo or the pee-pee. All around I find pets to be an annoyance. Now - I still love animals and I love going to the zoo and aquarium - but it’s just the pet thing that I’ve never really understood. To be honest, I’ve even made the argument that pets are a modern form of idol worship - but we won’t get into that…
Now, I’m sure you’re hoping that I say something along the lines of “but after these 3 weeks I just ADORE Jonesie and LOVE dogs.” Well, unfortunately, these weeks have only further confirmed my original feelings. Pet’s just aren’t for me.
Despite all that, the little girl has taught me quite a bit about God’s love. You see, Jonesie is a cuddler. She constantly wants to be held and cuddled, if she isn’t in your arms or your lap, then she’ll whine until you pick her up… it’s actually kind of cute. And it makes you feel good when she wants you to be the one that holds her.
Throughout the last few weeks there have been a couple of times where, for whatever reason, we had to leave Jonesie at the house while we ran errands or took care of business. I always felt bad because she doesn’t like to be alone - but we had no choice. Sometimes we’d have to leave her for up to 3 or 4 hours and one day it was close to 8 hours. (Don’t worry, we gave her plenty of food and she pees and poops inside on a little pad - so she had everything she needed. This dog gets treated like royalty).
Of course, I feel horrible, but what amazed me was her reaction when I came home. This dog has UNCONDITIONAL love. As soon as I walk into the door, Jonesie goes berserk… and I mean coo-coo for cocoa puffs. She practically screams, dances on her hind legs, runs around in circles, and has such genuine excitement that I think she might pass out. It makes you feel like a million bucks.
It doesn’t matter that I abandoned her and it doesn’t even matter that I’m not too crazy for her kind - she still has this unconditional love. In her mind, I can do no wrong and even if I did she’ll still go banana’s for my return. And what a beautiful picture that is of God’s unconditional love towards us.
How often have we made mistakes or “abandoned” God and felt like we had done too much wrong or gone too far this time and are undeserving of His love? I think we’ve all been there. We hear about God’s great love - but we can’t imagine it actually being for us? We believe He loves other people - but we think, “Me? No way.”
The beautiful reality is that God’s love is actually unconditional. He has always been after our hearts - He desires to truly be in a relationship with us so that we can know Him, be known by Him, experience His love. We hear phrases like “God is love” and we think it’s a cool Pinterest quote or Instagram caption… but the reality is that God’s very nature is love. And He wants to be in a loving relationship with us.
One of my favorite verses is found in Romans 5:8, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Even at our lowest, God saw us and loved us and guess what - that hasn’t changed, HE STILL LOVES US.
In the same way that Jonesie loves to spend time with me, God loves you and desires to spend time with you so that He can pour on His love. He’s waiting at the door ready to go berserk to show you his unconditional love.
Today, I pray that you’re encouraged by God’s great love for you. If you want to study this out further, I have 2 recommendations: 1) Intentionally study the Word and ask God to reveal the truth about His love and 2) Take a look at the latest series my mom just preached called “He Loves Me.” It’s so encouraging and all about His love. Link Here
You are loved!