lessons from a dog

img_1990.jpgThis is my puppy, Riley. She’s 4 whole pounds and equal parts love and attitude. I don’t get many days to stay home with her all do, so when I do, I make sure to treasure them.  Right now, I’m on a break from school and my internship, and as the holidays have started to wind down, I find myself able to relax more. I had one of these days recently- a day I was able to spend completely with Riley.

I was so excited to have a day to just rest, relax, and watch a conference online (shoutout Passion) from the comfort of my own home (bed). It has also been absolutely freezing outside lately, so I figured it was a good excuse to stay under the covers all day.

Now, Riley is usually the most active puppy- she loves running around and playing chase, but she is also down to take a nap at any given moment of any given day. If I lay down, she’s right there with me, usually asleep before I even am. On most days, she does both- play and sleep constantly.

On this particular lazy day, I woke up early, got my computer out to watch the conference, and stayed snuggled in bed. Riley didn’t get up like she usually does, she just stayed cuddled right beside me. Throughout the day as I got up to get food or do any other small task, she was right there with me. As soon as I got back in bed, there she was, peacefully sleeping by my side. It went on like this all day, as she slept perfectly throughout the day and even the night.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized that her food hadn’t been touched all day. She  had plenty of chances to jump down from my bed and make her way to her food bowl. But she didn’t. When I got up, she could have eaten, but she stayed right by my side. She was so relaxed and peaceful that day, without eating at all or even drinking much. She was perfectly content and fulfilled just being by my side all day.  And then it was like God spoke to me-  this is how He wants us to be with Him.

Speaking about himself, Jesus proclaimed, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35). He calls himself the “bread that came down from heaven” and that whoever eats this bread will “live forever” (John 6:58).

You see, when we go to Jesus and just simply spend time in His presence with Him, we will begin to want nothing else. He wants us to find rest in Him, in being with Him. There is no fear or anxiety in the presence of God. There is no need that He can’t fulfill. He promises that He can and will satisfy all of our needs. He promises us love and peace. He wants so badly for us to come to Him, cuddle up with Him, and simply be. He’s a Friend, a Protector, and also a Father among other things. He will take care of us, but first He wants to teach us that maybe all we need is Him. He is always there waiting. He is faithful. He is patient. He is kind. He is sweet and funny and exciting and protective and calming and reassuring and understanding. He is more than just the God that created us- He is a loving person who is constantly seeking us. And when we let ourselves be found by Him, we will find that He fills us more than food, quenches every thirst, provides the truest and calmest peace for us to rest in.

For Riley, days like that day only come around every once in a while. But for us, God calls to us every day, every hour, every minute. He wants it to be a constant thing- being in His presence. It is there that our souls will find the peace they’ve been desperately searching for.

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