Sunday, February 6, 2011

Unconditional, undying, unchanging…love.

If ever there were an example of such pure and unmitigated devotion, it would be the affection Max expresses toward me every day. No matter the situation, he positively jumps for joy every time he sees me, regardless of whether or not I’ve had to punish him recently.

Take, for example, last weekend. I had gone shopping for shoes, something I hadn’t done in quite some time. After many hours, I was finally able to locate a pair I liked. They were a bit pricey, but I figured they were worth the extra cost since the brand I’d purchased was well known for their durability. I don’t reckon they took miniature dachshunds into consideration when they made that claim.

I wore my shoes to church once, and then left them on the floor of my closet. Much to my dismay, I returned home from work the following Monday to find that Max had completely demolished one of the shoes. Leather lay everywhere! To add insult to injury, the other shoe lay just where I had left it, perfect, untouched, and completely unusable.

“Max!” I yelled. “Bad dog, Max. You don’t chew on Momma’s shoes.”

Realizing he’d done something wrong, Max crouched down on his belly and crawled over to me, cowering at my feet like some wayward Isrealite seeking repentance.

“No, Max,” I said, still angered over the loss of my shoe. “Go lay down. Momma’s mad at you.”

He obeyed, but about an hour later, I felt a gentle nudge at my elbow. I looked down into a pair of gentle brown eyes, filled with regret and pleading for forgiveness. How could I help but relent?

“Okay, Max—”

I got no further. Overjoyed to see I was no longer angry, Max leapt into my lap and proceeded to lick my face, hands, and ears.

It was then that I realized just how deeply Max loves me. Despite my anger or any chastisement I might dispense, he loves me, and he can’t wait to show it.

Do I love my Master that way? Despite any chastisement He might have to give, do I hurry to show my affection to my Heavenly Father?

Lord, help me to grow in love for You. Let my devotion be unconditional, and my heart’s desire always be to exercise my affection in a way that is pleasing unto You.

Joshua 23:6-11 (New International Version, ©2010)

6 “Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left. 7 Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them. 8 But you are to hold fast to the LORD your God, as you have until now.

9 “The LORD has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you. 10 One of you routs a thousand, because the LORD your God fights for you, just as he promised. 11 So be very careful to love the LORD your God.


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