I have struggled for my entire life to understand the love of God. There, I said it. For various reasons, I have often been overwhelmed with my concept of myself, a flawed human being, loved despite all my mistakes by a perfect God.
I know all the theology involved, but there is a difference between comprehending something in your head and feeling something deep within your being. I understand objectively that Jesus has already paid the price for my sin, but my innate ability to be incredibly hard upon myself causes me to feel separated from God’s love a lot of the time. Mind you, I could tell any one of you reading this why you are always loved by God. I could cite the correct chapters and verses, but inside I’ve often felt that they applied to everyone but me.
God has presented me with lessons over the years which helped me better understand Him and his everlasting love for me, but I just couldn’t take it on board. And then God sent Lulu.
I’ve had some great dogs; Alex, Maxine, Lupa, Little Bit, Francis, and now Lulu, the best gift of them all. Lulu doesn’t do a lot of tricks. She sits and she walks well on the leash. Lulu looks adorable and everyone who sees her loves her. Like most of the best things in life, she was free. A neighbor called me and asked me to come look at the stray dogs in her yard. One of them was Lulu.
God has truly used Lulu in my life to help me understand His unconditional love. You see, sometimes Lulu does bad stuff. She doesn’t mean to, she just can’t help digging big holes in the yard. When she digs, she tracks in unbelievable amounts of dirt that I have to sweep up. Much like God has to sweep up after me.
Last week, she decided to dig the pillow top thingey on top of the mattress. There was “memory foam” everywhere and a guilty little dog licking her lips while I stood there saying, “Did you do THAT?”
But here’s the deal. I didn’t love her any less. I know her heart. I know she loves me and she wants to please me. She sometimes has a hard time controlling her impulses, but her heart is in the right place.
When Lulu loves on you, she just leans into your chest, rests her head on your shoulder, and puts her whole weight on you. This is what God wants me to do with Him. Then He says, “Good girl.” He knows my heart. It took a stray white dog to teach me that.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3