I’ve always thought of dog lovers as being the type of people who love to be with dogs, who snuggle with dogs, and some who even want to have lots of dogs.
But I’ve discovered that there’s a different kind of dog lover, the one who will drop what they are doing to comfort a fearful dog.
Of course, some dog lovers are both types.
We have a dog because my husband and daughter are the first kind of dog lover.
However, with all the fireworks going off and the fear it induces in our dog, she is following me around and sitting at my feet.
She perceives me to be her protector; she perceives me to be the one who really loves her when she is afraid. I make her feel safe.
When a thunderstorm is on its way, I ask her, “Do you want to go outside?” in an excited voice, and I take her out with no fear. She knows that I am not afraid of the storm, and that makes her feel safe.
Last night the neighbors across the street started setting off fireworks.
I was in the basement, and I heard the dog going up and down the stairs to the second floor of our house a couple of times. She had already tried dog-lover daddy and dog-lover sister, but they did not make her feel safe.
I picked up her approximately 25 pound doggie self and carried her, like a baby, outside to show her that there was nothing to be afraid of.
She did not agree.
She sat on my lap on the ground trembling, hiding her face in the crook of my arm, so I decided to bring her back inside because she wasn’t buying it.
I am the second kind of dog lover, and our dog knows it. She followed me to the basement today and is laying at my feet right now as I speak to you.
I wonder, how often do we as humans go after the warm, fuzzy love and acclaim of other humans, the human lovers of our lives?
And suddenly, something scares us and makes us tremble with fear. And they are not able to be enough. And then, and only then, do we realize that it was God who loved us the most all along.
- He protects us.
- He watches over us.
- And He is not afraid.
In Him we can feel safe because in Him we are safe.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that I love our dog more than the rest of the family loves her. I’m just using this situation as a loose illustration of the faithfulness of God’s love for us.
He never has an off day. He will never tell us that He has no time for us or that we need to go ask someone else for love or attention or protection because He’s tired and needs a nap. He will never be too sick or too depressed or too busy or too any-number-of-other-things to listen to our cry for help. He will always be there for us.
So, like our dog, Lilly, has been doing with me, let’s follow Him around and lay at His feet in complete confidence that He has this thing figured out and under control, and we are safe as long as we are dwelling in His powerful, loving Presence.