She loved me to death! Before my key connected to the lock, I could hear scratching at the base of our front door. Once cracked enough to wiggle her 10-pound body out, my golden poodle-mixed princess perched on hind-legs with front paws extended! Throwing her arms open as if to embrace me with the love a thousand grandmothers, Precious’s excitement to see me was overwhelming. She would literally shake-dance like I had a pocket full of ones willing to make it rain just for her. And this was not just when I got home, this was all the time!
For a little over 10 years, God allowed Ephesians 3:17-18 to roam freely around my home in the person of Precious– displaying itself fiercely to someone who had no idea what unconditional love looked like. This prayer from Paul for the believers in Ephesus reads “…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Paul describes God’s love as high, wide and deep. I read these scriptures countless times, but could never truly understand or accept it as my own. Precious helped me grasp the width, length, and depth of God’s love for me.
She followed me around the house like a second skin. If told to get in her bed, she quickly obeyed but pasted her eyes on my every move for the slightest queue to come in for a vigorous belly rub. And she didn’t want to just sit by me – she demanded intimacy. This dog wanted to be rubbed, talked to and included in all activities outside the home. If I was leaving, she was leaving. If she thought I was in danger, she would swell into my protector. If I was sad, she was my comforter – snuggled on my side until my spirits lifted. She didn’t want anything from me, but me. Even if we had a disagreement of not allowing her to get in my bed or if I had to pop her behind for peeing on the floor or tearing through the trash, the offense was squashed immediately and never addressed again. This was love – pure and true.
Isn’t this the way the Father handles us? Doesn’t He want to be recognized as a constant presence with us? He requires immediate obedience for our safety or better good. Does he not desire time expanding intimacy with us to deepen our relationship with Him? God wants time to snuggle in His Word with us, talk with us. I believe this may be His form of belly rubs! If harm comes for us, God jumps to shield us against the issues of life as a fearless protector. Most of all, God does not hold our sins and poor decisions against us. We can prolong the distance we have with God after sinning if we don’t confess our sin or refuse to repent (1John 1:9). But does not turn His back on us if we are struggling with sin, seeking Him plan of action to overcome it and are diligent in our pursuit to be delivered. This was a massive lesson for me to accept. God is my coach, not my critic.
I had never seen this kind of love in its fullness prior to Precious. I read that love was patient, kind, and doesn’t seek its own way. Real talk – I had never seen love without conditions. People can be patient if it doesn’t take too long. Folks can be kind, as long as they are not pissed off. I can yield to your way, as long as it is not too far from what I am willing to tolerate. This is how love was modeled to me. Therefore, I interrupted God’s love through this tainted lens. I’m grateful to understand that God’s love has girth to it! It has depth, length, and width that wraps around us like a force field against the hurtfulness of this world. Spending time studying His word cultivates the knowledge of God’s love. So as you approach your home this evening, even though you don’t hear my Precious scratching for you at the front door, know God is inside eagerly waiting to snuggle with you. Will you make a little time to snuggle with Him?
Get Somewhere and Snuggle Up,