It amazes me how life lessons can be found in simple things. Take Molly and me, for example. As I mentioned in my last post, Molly is my thirteen-month-old, strawberry dapple miniature dachshund – a fancy title for a cute, mischievous, energetic, adoring and adorable little sausage dog.

She has taught me much about worship, not the faulty, fickle and often selfish what-do-I- get-out-of-this kind of human worship but the dog-kind – the unselfconscious, unselfish and pure kind of worship that she shows me when she lies on my lap and gazes into my eyes with adoring devotion reflected in her dark brown eyes.

In Molly’s eyes, I am perfect. I can do nothing wrong. I praise her when she understands and does what I ask her to do. I give her treats for no reason at all. I faithfully feed her and give her clean water to drink. She sleeps in a clean, warm bed (with me, of course), every night. I protect her from harm as best I can and she responds to my care with loyalty, adoration and companionship.

How do I respond to this kind of devotion? I see her as small, vulnerable, sometimes uncomprehending, sometimes stubborn but always coming back to me to love and be loved. Since I recognise that she is a dog, not a human, I have to adjust my attitude towards her accordingly. My heart goes out to her in compassion; she is small and fragile. I don’t judge her for her failures. I accommodate to her dog-ness.  Why? It’s because I love her for who she is.

Then I find myself multiplying my compassion for Molly by the God-ness of God’s compassion for me and I glimpse the heart of my Father towards His human children. He knows how frail and vulnerable we are.  He knows how weak we are; He understands that we are dust (Psalm 103:14 – NLT).

How can I judge Molly when she is only a dog?

My Father has placed all my judgment on Jesus, His Son because I am only a human. I could never have satisfied His perfect standards, so Jesus took my place and bore the punishment I deserved for my failure. Now I can sit on the Father’s lap and gaze into His face with pure adoration because of His love for me.

The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; He does not deal harshly with us as we deserve. For His unfailing love towards those who fear Him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth (Psalm 103:8-11 – NLT).

Luella Campbell

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