Lessons From Duffy

We have a West Highland Terrier (aka a “Westie”) that we adopted through the Humane Society in Portland about 2 years ago. His previous owners named him Duffy and they worked with him very well to learn the right things to do, and what not to do. He is now about 7 years old.

Duffy is a spontaneous character, often barking before anything has happened, and dramatically exploding out of a sound sleep into an attack strategy launched upon one of his toys, shaking it to shreds while doing his best lion-with-fresh-prey imitation.

He is a fun dog… most of the time.

He does however have his days where his little heart and mind turn a few shades darker, and he becomes a rebellious little punk. A cute punk, but still a punk.

Here is a lesson from Duffy: when he is scolded and reprimanded for doing what he KNOWS is wrong (but he does it anyway!), he does not run away from us. Instead he walks right up to us, tail down and head down, and getting as close to us as he can, he sits right next to our feet. He leans into us, complete with a look of “sorry” on his face and his tail signaling an “oops, I did it again, didn’t I?” kind of message.

Each time it reminds me of how many times in life I’ve had some days where my heart and mind were a few shades darker, and I became a rebellious little punk in God’s eyes. Sure, He still loved me, He still thought I was cute (just like my Mom always thinks that I am cute too!), but I was also being a punk.

When we have those times in life when God has to scold us and reprimand us for our times of rebellion, how often do we experience the urge to run away and hide? Adam and Eve ran away and hid themselves from God after their rebellious day, and we have the same propensity.

God wants our response to be similar to Duffy’s: He wants us to approach Him, not with excuses (“What’s the big deal?”) or distractions (“Oh look, God, a squirrel!”), but with a contrite heart, leaning into Him, snuggling up close to Him.

Sometimes I wonder if Duffy might be better at this post-rebellion routine than most human beings. We really appreciate his return after the fact. How much more does God appreciate our return in like manner!

#PastorsTip #Westie

Seek Me, Find Me!

Were you at one time so close to the Lord that He consumed your every thought and was the center of every one of your hopes and dreams? Were you so enamored with Him that you knew what Peter must have felt when he told the Lord, “I’ll die before I ever leave Your side”?

However, today as you ponder your life with Christ, do you wonder how such a wide canyon has developed that separates you from the blessing of experiencing His presence every moment of every day? Do you feel numb in your heart, knowing you should be feeling something, but it’s just not there? Do you know in your mind that your first love has become distant, but you are concerned with how you allowed this to happen?

You are not alone, my friend. Scripture is filled with the stories of people who have experienced the same wilderness. Thankfully, God understands our humanity and our imperfections, and He offers us a road map back to Him for our hearts.

God told Israel ahead of time, before they had grown distant from Him, that if they ever become distant from Him and find themselves in a wilderness of separation from Him that there is a way back:

“But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

~ Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:29‬

Today, heed the moment of clarity that you are experiencing. Take some deliberate, heart-felt steps to draw close to God. The journey may be short or it may be long, but God has promised that in times like these IF we will seek Him with ALL of our heart, we WILL find Him again!

If you are in a wilderness today, may today be the first day of your new season and new journey toward the heart of God. You WILL find Him, and you WILL become even closer to Him than before. Just keep seeking, stay on the path, and fuel your journey with the passion of your heart.

#PastorsTip #CloseToGod #PresenceOfGod #DrawNearToGod #Wilderness #Loneliness #NotAlone #SeekAndFind #SeekGodFindGod