“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
A little while back, my housemates were on vacation and their dog, Sammie, was left for their sons to watch. One night Sammie was left alone for the first time. I assured my housemates that I would check on Sammie the next day before I left to meet up with some friends.
In the morning, I went upstairs to greet Sammie, only Sammie was nowhere to be found. I stood silent listening for her scurrying feet across the floor or a whimpering of her cry. I walked through the house calling her name but there was no response. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I spotted her sitting at the top of the stairs staring back at me.
When I reached her, she growled and took off running down the hall. Again I approached her but as soon as I got close enough to pet her, she would growl and run away again. Eventually, I was able to sit beside her, but when I tried to pick her up, she would growl and run away. This went on for about 15 minutes. On the next attempt she growled and ran down the stairs and into the living room.
I sat next to her on the floor and she let me pet her and rub her belly. Her tail even began to wag. Finally, she let me pick her up and hold her. Even though she knew who I was, she didn’t trust me. It wasn’t until I gained her trust, 40 minutes later, that she let me carry her.
I could never fully comprehend the all-powerful, self-sacrificing, unconditional love of God until that day with Sammie. Even though she kept running away from me, I kept looking for her, reaching out to her, and patiently waiting to gain the trust needed for her to let me carry her. That’s how God is with us. We may run away from God for many reasons: some sin in our lives that we are ashamed of, we are afraid to get close to God, we just have a hard time trusting Him or we don’t feel we’ve earned His love. Even though we run away, He is always there waiting for us, encouraging us and drawing us closer to Him. Nothing can separate us from His love.
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 38-39).
Waiting 40 minutes for Sammie to trust me and come to me was a long time. How long has God been waiting for you to trust Him? Will you run into His arms now and allow Him to carry you?