For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 English Standard Version (ESV)
My husband and I have two pups, who I’m ashamed to admit, nightly share our king-size bed with us. There are times throughout the night that both dogs will snuggle up so closely to me, it’s impossible to even roll over. One dog is usually sleeping by my head (occasionally sharing my pillow) or curled into my stomach; while the other dog tucks himself into the curve of my legs.
In spite of the fact that these two fur babies hog my space, I’d still rather have them with me throughout the night than not. There’s something very soothing and therapeutic about rolling over and having a sweet little fur ball nestled next to me.
Research has shown that people who sleep with dogs or frequently pet dogs are more likely to live longer than those who don’t. Okay, I probably read that on Facebook – which we all know is the source of all wisdom — but who knows? It could be true. I hope it’s true.
The great thing about being a dog person, is the satisfaction I get knowing that these two pups love me wholly, completely and totally without reservation. I’ve never doubted their love for me, not even for a moment.
I wish I could say the same thing about my relationship with Christ. I’ve walked with the Lord for a few decades now, yet there are days when I still doubt His love for me. I blame it on the fact that I’m a “feeling” person, even though the Bible speaks repeatedly about the dangers of following our emotions or “feelings.”
Other than the fact that God’s Word tells me repeatedly that nothing can separate me from God’s love and that He will never leave me and is with me always – I still struggle with “feeling” loved. In fact, there are days that I “feel” utterly and completely abandoned by God – even though I KNOW that is a lie straight from the enemy.
Because life can be challenging and stressful sometimes, there are days when I wish I could cuddle up to the Savior the same way my dogs cuddle up to me. When I have a particularly trying day, I want nothing more than to crawl up onto Jesus’s lap and let Him love on me and hold me the same way I love up on my fur babies.
Since there’s no chance that any of us can “cuddle” with Jesus this side of Heaven, are there ways that we can fulfill the longings of our souls and FEEL the love of Christ?
What I fail to realize is that God is speaking to me and telling me how much He loves me DAILY, if I bother to listen. It starts very simply each day with those morning cuddles with my dogs. God created these loving creatures and they’ve proven to be loyal, affectionate and trustworthy friends.
Watching the sun rise with my morning cup of tea, listening to the birds singing their wake-up call, the sweet smell of spring flowers, a hug from my husband, one of my kids or my grandkids, a kind word or a smile from a stranger … the Lord reminds me daily that He is in all of these things.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world. Psalm 19:1-4 (NLT)
Because I’m an emotionally needy person, I sometimes still desire more. The longing of my soul is to know Jesus as intimately as is humanly possible. It’s been said that God created each of us with a God-size hole in us. And while many try to fill this unexplained void with material substances and earthly pleasures, I’ve always known that it’s only God that will fill my void.
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
Because I believe the Bible to be true and the inspired Words of God, I need to immerse myself in those words — especially on the days when I’m feeling the most emotionally vulnerable. Admittedly, it’s not a hug for my flesh, but it can serve as an emotional salve for my emotions. As for the physical hugs, I think that is surely why God created dogs! Thanks be to God …
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for people and animals alike, O LORD. Psalm 36:6 (NLT)
Blessings in Christ and as always … happy reading!