Today while doing yard work, the kids left the gate opened while I was yelling for them to shut it. As a result two of our dogs (Friday and Walter) escaped and high tailed it into the big old world. I dismounted the riding mower but by the time I got to the first place they were seen heading too, it was too late. Two pair of excited 4 legged animals, beat a slower moving two legged animal every time. I called and searched a little while longer and then just felt a peace that they would come back when the adventure was over.
The kids automatically wanted to start making posters about the lost dogs, but I told them to just wait. The dogs knew where they were fed and loved and would make it back home. I continued to mow the lawn and tried to not to imagine the worst case scenario since cars fly down our street and there are acres and acres of forested areas filled with turkey, deer and other fun things to chase down.
Finally I shut the mower off and wandered to the front door. I called one time with very little hope, but here they came running. They entered the house with lowered heads (I assume dogs can be humble) and went straight to the water bowls.
I tell you this story as a reminder of how God must feel when one of His children is lost from His loving arms. It must be heartbreaking to see one cut loose and run to the big old world; knowing all the dangers that can hurt His beloved child. But He chooses to wait for us, to see that His arms, his home, is where we belong and actually long for.
He continues to call us back home, but He still has to continue His work in our hearts directing us back to the place that we are truly loved. He knows the world will never satisfy our deep needs. It may seem fun for a little while, but eventually that pull to be home with Him comes and we walk humbly back ready for some living water and love. He doesn’t punish us (like I didn’t punish the dogs) He is just happy that we are home. It’s not a condemnation lecture He gives us, but a hug and a welcome back smile.
If you find yourself in the big world and afraid to come back home to God because of some kind of retaliation you’ve dreamed up, trust me, there is nothing but love to come back to and your past gets erased as soon as you walk into His arms. Your biggest challenge will be learning how to forgive yourself….but you can do that with His help and love.