My two dogs…never fail to amaze me with their lessons from God. Here are a few of the things I’m learning:
Published on: 12-29-2020
My two dogs —Brody, a 5-year-old golden retriever we’ve had since a puppy, and Coco, a rescued 4-year-old poodle mix— never fail to amaze me with their lessons from God. Here are a few of the things I’m learning:
Unconditional love. Dogs love and accept us as we are. They don’t care how intelligent we are or what we’re wearing or whether we messed up at school. They just look at us adoringly and plop down contentedly by our side. God tells us to love one another as He loves us. I think a close second would be to love one another as our dogs love us.
Total trust. My dogs don’t stress about where their next meal is coming from, or question whether I’ll be there to take care of them. Yes, I’m capable of not living up to their trust in me, but they don’t seem to realize that. My husband and I are the focus of their love, faith, and trust, and their trust in us is complete. It’s the type of trust we should have in God, who truly never fails us.
Find joy in simple things. My golden retriever, Brody, loves nothing more than to play fetch. When I bring out a ball and begin throwing it for him, his joy knows no bounds. Going for walks, chasing a bird in a field, sniffing myriad things along a trail—my dogs live such small moments to the full, with no thought of the stresses and worries of life. They truly reflect Jesus’ words: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself” (Matt. 6:34, NIV).
We’re not alone. If you have a dog, you never have to feel alone. Even when my husband has to travel for his job, I never have to return to an empty house. My dogs are always there, delighted to see me. Dogs are faithful companions for the years we’re privileged to have them with us, but God offers us companionship for eternity.
Patience. My dogs spend a lot of time waiting for me. We go for daily walks, but our walking schedule is far from routine. They have to wait until I can fit in the time each day amid my responsibilities. They don’t nag or harass me but wait patiently for when the time is right for me. We, too, need to wait on God’s timing—but, sadly, I’m usually not as patient as my dogs.
Tolerance. I’m not as good of a person as my dogs think I am. I sometimes “lose my cool” or neglect to give them attention or overlook caring for some need they have—but it never seems to affect their love and devotion to me. They are unfailingly tolerant of my shortcomings and don’t hold grudges. If we could only be as tolerant with one another!
Overcome fear with love. My dog Coco was rescued from a hoarding situation and came to us full of fear and insecurity. I treated her gently and kindly, gave her lots of attention, and basically showed her love and care. In time, she responded to my efforts. Even though she’s still nervous with strangers, her trust in and devotion to me eclipses that of many other dogs I’ve had. She reminds me that God is love, and love wins.
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matt. 6:34, NIV.