Last night my dog bit the hand that feeds him: mine. He’s a crotchety middle-aged chihuahua. I tried to pick him up, but he didn’t want to leave what he was doing and snapped at me. He’s snapped at me before, but he’d never drawn blood before. Now my hand is swollen and painful. I’m having to spend money to treat the wound. All my plans for today were shot because my dominant hand no longer has an opposable thumb. I couldn’t style my hair or apply make-up this morning, and since preparing my healthy meals requires two hands with opposable thumbs, I’ve had to eat food that isn’t good for me. I’m still angry with him and haven’t said one nice thing to him since he bit me. In fact, at this moment, I am seriously considering putting his cute little face in the classifieds and seeing if anyone would like a crotchety middle-aged chihuahua.
It occurred to me that, just like my dog, I snap at God for things that He doesn’t deserve. I’m so glad He doesn’t want to give me away. When I bite His hand, He just keeps loving me. In fact, He knew in advance that I wouldn’t always be enraptured with Him, and He chose to die for me anyway. Not only does He keep loving me, but He also doesn’t want me to wallow in guilt when I mess up. He tells us in Hebrews 4:16 to “come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy and obtain grace to help in time of need.” It’s the best deal that’s ever been. For doing nothing, we get everything, and when we fail, we simply go back to God and let Him dust us off so that we can try again. I’ll probably eventually forgive my dog, although I’ll be wary of him for a while. But with God, forgiveness is instantaneous, and He doesn’t pull back from us for fear of another bite. God’s love is perfect. Sometimes, either because we were taught the wrong things or because “the deal” just seems too good to be true, we expect God’s love to be more like ours. Our human love frequently has strings attached. The closest most of us can come to loving God’s way is how we love our children. There is nothing my kids could do that would make me stop loving them. God’s love is that and so much more. I am a grateful crotchety middle-aged chihuahua.