Well, we have a puppy.
As a little girl, I only remember having one dog. Brownie. She was old and slow and would greet me every day after school.
Come to think of it she wasn’t really my dog. She was Mamaw’s. Brownie. The fat, brown dog whose favorite past time was lying on the cold concrete in front of the silver screen door in the carport.
So when thinking about getting a new puppy for the boys I tried to prepare myself as much as I possibly could for all the “puppy things” that would soon be part of our lives. I had a feeling that a new dog would not lie quietly like old, fat Brownie.
Just a hunch.
I anticipated her chewing on things – a puppy’s desire for chair legs and the corner of the couch I predicted. What I didn’t predict was her insatiable affection for my legs and the corner of my feet. I mean who wants stationary chair legs when you can chase a pair that move across the kitchen floor.
I anticipated her need for doggie toys. So I bought tennis balls and squeaky stuffed carrots, fluffy with eyes and a thread smile. What I didn’t predict was her desire for my husbands good Smart Wool socks fresh out of the laundry basket. Snagged before I could hardly set the basket to the ground and hidden in the dark puppy abyss of other socks retrieved from under beds and Luke’s closet.
I anticipated that she would be with me most of the time. Working from home, I predicted she would be my responsibility during the school day and then the responsibility would transfer to the boys after pick up line and homework (tongue in cheek). What I didn’t predict was her desire for me. All. The. Time. Her eyes watching for me every waking hour of every waking day. And not only her eyes on me, but her little 8 pound furry self positioned right at my feet no matter the circumstance.
Unloading the dishwasher. My feet.
Making beds. My feet.
Folding laundry. My feet.
Having my quiet time. My feet.
Eating a meal. My feet.
Right now. My feet.
There she is.
Our little Jojo…. sweet her. She just wants to just be near people. She just want to be near me.
And as much as her being under foot drives me bonkers sometimes, I am beginning to draw many parallels between my little new friend and our relationship with the Lord.
In the book of James, he gives us instruction in his letter to the church… Tame your tongue. Look after widows. Be a doer of the Word. Avoid quarrels. Submit yourselves to God.
But in chapter 4 verse 8 he gives specific encouragement on our relationship to the Father. He even gives us direction on the physical position a child of God is to take. And he follows it with a promise.
Come near to God and He will come near to you. v 8
eggizō (near) – to join one thing to another. To be at hand.
Jojo, our tiny four-month-old cockapoo, is teaching me much about “joining one thing to another.” She is always at hand. If I want her to be or not.
But one thing is astoundingly true of her nearness to me. One fact so obvious that I almost overlook it.
When she is at my hand. I am also at hers.
When she is near to me, I am near to her.
Because she choses to be at my side, no matter the cost, I am at her side, too.
This furry little girl that I trip over numerous times a day, is a constant reminder of the position we are to take with God.
And her nearness has many rewards. When Jojo sits at feet my side I talk to her. I feed her from my hand. I pet her sweet head and scoop her up in my lap. And oftentimes I love on her without prompting or her begging my attention. I love on her because she is there with me. And her nearness strengthens our bond and deepens my affection for her.
Let us take this approach with the Father today. Draw to His side. Sit, too, at His feet. Be close and listen for His voice and feed from His providing hand. Today, feel His affection for you. Allow your entire life, every detail and concern, to be scooped up in His lap.
Like little Jojo, join yourself to God today. Experience nearness that comes from that place. Because when you are by His side, He too is by yours.
- Reflect back on a time when you felt near to God. How did you feel during that season?
- What is it that causes you to feel distant from the Lord?
- How can you take a simple move towards drawing near to Him today?
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9