The faith of a dog

Seven years ago this month [March 16, 2004] Becky went to hang out with God. She was a faithful friend to me for about eleven years, coming into my life as a “runaway” right about the same time my mom passed away.

I had often been told with Becky, and now with Miles (my Border Collie, currently sleeping at my feet while I type), that whenever I left the house there is howling. It appears that both dogs really have a problem with separation anxiety, even though I often let them know that I’ll only be gone for a short while.

But, this is not the real reason for this story. More importantly than how they howl when I left is their attitude when I return. It doesn’t matter whether I was gone for a minute, an hour, a day, or a week, if you look at their excitement you would think that I had been gone for a year! Both dogs have this little ritual of looking through the cat door to see if the noise in the garage was me returning, then as soon as I walked through the door they would do the “I’m so excited to see you dance.”

Here’s the deal… The dogs aren’t the real reason for the story. This is a story about you, it’s a story about me, it’s a story about God.

How often do we leave God, not for a few moments to go to the store, but instead for a period of time when we want to do things our way or when things are going really bad (the times we should be running whole-heartedly after God, not away from him)? Here’s the difference, when we leave God he doesn’t “howl” because he has a problem with separation anxiety, instead he whispers “I will never leave or forsake you.”

What if we turn the tables? Perhaps we need to look at God through the eyes of a dog … the way that they look at us. Perhaps we need to have the faith of a dog.

When was the last time you were excited to be in the presence of God? A dog is man’s best friend, and it shows when we come into their presence; if we are God’s best friend, shouldn’t it show in our lives (we’re always in His presence).

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my souls thirsts for you,
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.
–Psalm 63:1-4

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