February 19, 2011

Daily Devotions From the Dog #2

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

My 4 year boston terrier Pearl came to me through a rescue organization and was in bad shape when I met her. She was 2 years old at the time and had been confiscated from a backyard breeding farm having been tied to a tree all of her life used as a breeding dog. She was a shell of an animal.

The day that I met her, she barely moved from fetal position, curled up into the tiniest ball her body would make. Her eyes stayed large and fearful. I studied her countenance upon meeting her and asked her what her name should be. Pearl was the natural choice. She appeared as if she had been trapped in a shell at the bottom of the ocean floor and was just emerging into the daylight. Pearl it is.

A rescued dog never recovers fully from trauma and neglect, but they heal in many ways. Pearl's personality is very unlike the standard boston terrier. She is delicate, gentle, small-framed, easily intimidated, expectant of danger, and a lap-clinger. She tip toes. She eats slowly. She thinks each moment through, never quite confident that everything is okay. And yet, she boldly engages her master - ME! :)

I know she has healed because she asserts herself constantly against a power much greater than her own. In her gentle, demonstrative way, she regularly invades my personal space to smother me with kisses. She wedges herself between my me and my laptop or me and a book telling me that cuddle time is more important that whatever I am doing. She unashamedly paws at my lap to be held if I am sitting down. Pearl comes BOLDLY, she comes often, and she makes her desires known without hesitation.

How do you think her powerful master interprets these bold gestures of Pearl's personal will? . . . I LOVE IT! I love witnessing the demonstration of my influence. I love her displays of trust. I treasure each moment. I always respond with mercy and grace.

Pearl and my relationship brings Hebrews 4:16 to mind, that I am instructed to approach my master BOLDLY. It is natural to presume that approaching God boldly is disrespectful since I am merely a creature made of dust and He is the preeminent, all powerful Creator. But God's personal will is that my personal will be shared with Him openly and often. Hebrews 4:16 is actually a deliberate invitation. What is more disrespectful than declining an invitation? Can you imagine someone declining an invitation to meet with the President of the United States? That is truly disrespectful, but even he is merely a creature made of dust.

The times that I have submitted myself to intimately and privately approach God, I found myself more welcome than I ever imagined. There are no barriers between God and the object of His affection. It is His joy for us to approach Him boldly no matter what our requests may be. The mere gesture of approach conveys trust, love, expectation and praise. Let's not deny God these gifts by neglecting to approach Him BOLDLY, as instructed. At the minimum, we will walk away with mercy and grace, as promised.

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