Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Parable of the Puppy

Have I mentioned that right now I am in Ezekiel in my read through the Bible in a year program? Would it be too embarrassing for me to admit that, although I have been a Christian for almost 19 years I don't think I have ever read Ezekiel before? Well, embarrassing or not, I just admitted it. So, there you go.
Anyway, as I am reading this book in some ways I'm a little scared. God is talking about pouring out His wrath and judgement on the people of Israel for their sin and detestable ways. I just read chapters 20 and 21 this morning - in which He recounts Israel's history. How He promised them a land flowing with milk and honey but they rebelled and looked to idols, they didn't follow His laws and decrees, and they desecrated His Sabbaths.
God was right in every act of judgement He brought upon them. And the thing that really strikes me through this book is how many times He says - particularly after describing judgement - Then you will know that I am the LORD. He wants to be known!
Anyway, this morning I was praying in response to what I had read. I confessed my sin and asked God to forgive me. I asked Him to help me revere Him - to respect that He is the LORD - to stand in awe of His holiness, His "other-ness." And at the same time, I thanked Him for the intimacy I have with Him. I know that He loves me and cherish the closeness I feel with my heavenly Father.
And I sat for a minute pondering the paradox.
How can God be so great, so holy and perfect, so righteous in judgement AND so loving toward me - a broken woman?
Then it was as if God said, Karen, who is that sitting on your lap? Who are you holding and petting and loving right now?
Why, it's Mindy, Lord. Our new puppy.
Yes. And you do love her, don't you.
I sure do. She's precious!
But you need to do some training with her, don't you.
I sure do. Oh, she was chewing cords yesterday. And I had to keep telling her, "No!" I finally figured out that if I gave her a chew toy, she would leave the cord alone.
Very good, darling.
But I need to keep working on the house-breaking. This morning she peed on Joshua's blanket. It's in the washer now. And she has gone on the dance pads a few times, too. But I think she's doing pretty well. I know it will take time, and I need to be patient.
Yes, child. You do. You'll need to tell her over and over. You'll need to train her. But she will learn.
Oh, do You remember the first night we had her at home? She didn't want to be alone in her kennel. She whined and cried quite a bit. I didn't sleep very well that night.
No, you didn't. I do remember. I was watching over you. But Mindy's getting better at night time, too, isn't she?
Yes.
So, tell Me, Karen. Do you love your puppy?
Of course I do!
Even though she has kept you awake some nights?
Yes.
Even though she is making you do more laundry?
Yes!
Even though you have to clean up the floor when she messes on it?
Yes!!
But, Karen. What about the chewing? Do you love your puppy even though she has been chewing on things she shouldn't touch?
Yes, Lord. I love her even though she chews on my things. I am her master and I will teach her what I expect of her. As her owner, I know that is my job - to train and discipline her. I know it's going to take time and I'll need to be patient with her. But I know eventually she is going to learn.
And she is so precious to me. Do you see how she's curled up here on my lap, just enjoying being with me? Isn't this the sweetest thing???
Though the training may take time, it is all worth it to me. Because I love her so much.
I knew you would see it My way, dear one. As you see Mindy, so I see you, darling.


I love that God is so creative in the ways He speaks to my heart. Yes, He can be both holy and intimate. I can revere Him and draw near to Him. He is not limited by my understanding. Praise His name!!!

And have a wonderful day. *grin*

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15 comments:

Melissa said...

I just had to smile at that "parable." I love when God speaks so simply to us!

Mrs. Sidney said...

Karen,
This spoke to my heart. Working on first time obedience with my little one has been frustrating at times. I am seeing now how patient He is with me and I need to be with my son.

Thank you for sharing... this doesn't mean I see my son as a dog but he can sure act like one at times..lol..

Have a great day!!!!

JanMary said...

Beautiful example - made me smile :)

luvmy4sons said...

Amen! I often feel the same way about children! I love them and they must learn and grow and make mistakes and my love is not based on their performance. It is a comfort isn't it? Sounds like the puppy is a member of the family!

Edie said...

I love the way God used your new little puppy to speak to your heart. He has an awesome and loving message for us in all that He has created, if we just be still and listen.

Sweet Mummy said...

I got tears in my eyes reading this. Very sweet, and perfect for the moment, eh? I love that about Him!

Your puppy is so cute, too!! Good choice, I think!

Becoming Me said...

Wonderful, my friend, wonderful

Dakota's Mom said...

I'm so glad He doesn't give up on us!

Amanda said...

I love this post. I was crying of course. Its just when you relay a beautiful and intimate conversation with Him... that just gets me.
In that song, Shout to the Lord, ..."Mountains bow down and the seas will roar at the sound of your name..."
THATS AWESOME. Yet He talks to us. To my very sinfull and pridefull heart. He talks to *me*.

It still makes me cry just thinking about the amazing relationship He has with His children.

Thanks for the 'moment' today!

God bless-
Amanda

Chatty Kelly said...

God spoke to me this way when I my first baby. I did everything for her and she did nothing for me, and yet my love was unbelievable. Just as God does everything for me, and there is nothing I can do for him (except love & worship him), yet his love for me is unbelievable. Praise God.

Jessica said...

Great analogy! Like Kelly, I feel this way with my kids (no cute puppies in this household, lol).
Especially when I had the first, it really hit me how unconditionally God love us.

My ADHD Me said...

It is the same with teenagers. they push the boundaries, they are hardheaded, they do things that they KNOW are wrong,get caught, get punished, and then sometimes go and do the same thing all over again. It's frustrating and sometimes you want to bang your head on the wall (or bang theirs on the wall) but the love is there...unconditionally.

My ADHD Me said...

By the way, I started your book. I am enjoying it and it is very thought provoking. I never realized how often I read something but don't really think about what I'm reading until I started writing down the answers to the questions at the end of the chapter.

The question at the end of chapter 2, "To what extent do you relate to the idea that when your kids are grown up, then you'll finally be able to experience peace and joy?", made me stop and think. And not really for the same reason as in your book. For years I have relied on the fact that when they are grown I will then be able to get away from a very difficult marriage and begin to live for me. But as I read your book, I am thinking that that joy will be bittersweet because they ARE my joy. I better start enjoying today.

Then the next question, "What does it mean for you to be real and is it hard for you to be real?",...well, let's just say your book is an eye opener.

Irritable Mother said...

Thank you, ADHD. I pray God will use that book to minister to your heart and draw you closer to Himself.

Kathie said...

Thank you for this lesson from the Lord thru your pup. I too, have two dogs that God has greatly used to teach me all sorts of truths!