Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Gunnar

Dogs are funny animals. There is no explaining why they do some of the things they do.

We currently own two yellow Labs. Duchess is only five-years-old, but she is the grandmother of our one-year-old puppy, Gunnar.

While Duchess is a pretty mellow, well-behaved dog, Gunnar is another story. He is a great big oaf! And I know that as a still-growing puppy he is probably always hungry, but this guy is way too serious about his food!

It’s bad enough that he tries to sneak into the garage where we keep it. That I can understand. But he is less than discriminating in his appetite. What dog eats raw potatoes and plastic glasses off the counter?

Worse than that, we recently left the two dogs inside because it was going to be a cold night. What did I find when I came downstairs the next morning?

Gunnar had tugged my purse off the counter, pulled the make-up bag out of it, chewed the side off, pulled two tubes of lipstick out, and consumed both of them! Of course, it wasn’t good enough for him to eat the lipsticks that I don’t use. Nooo….he had to be discerning and eat the only ones I like!

Then he hit a whole new low.

I had left the sliding glass door open so the dogs could go in and out while I worked upstairs. When I came back down, it was evident from the trash scattered in the backyard that Gunnar had opened the pantry door, absconded with brand new boxes of Raisin Bran and granola, dragged them outside, and ate them!

If he were not so loveable when he isn’t being naughty, Gunnar would be looking for a new home!

He should eat what is good for him. As his owners, we give him plenty of healthy dog food. We don’t give him chocolate (it can make him sick) or chicken bones (they can get stuck in his throat). But Gunnar still goes searching for the one thing he should not have—people food!

Sometimes, we share the same tendency.

God has given us so much to enjoy in life. So much that is good for us. His word. His people. His creation. Most importantly, He gives us salvation through His Son, a relationship with Him, and the right to be called children of God. These are wonderful things that can nourish us deeply.

Yet instead of being satisfied with the good things He’s given us, we far too often want other things. More money. More stuff. Our own way. And we never even realize that those are the very things that, rather than satisfying us, make us unhealthy.

As our Creator, God knows what is best for us.  His words are “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:1-3, italics mine).

Isn’t that what we want? To seek those things that are actually satisfying, instead of settling for those things that only leave us wanting more? To take of the richest of fare?

Because the more we seek Him, the more we “Taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8a), the cry of our heart becomes “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)

And as we continue to lose the taste for those things that do not satisfy, our desire moves away from what sounds good to what is good, and our prayer is for God to “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” (Psalm 90:14)

Now only are God’s words sweet, but they are satisfying!

I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you (Psalm 63:4-6).

Further reflection:

  1. Can you think of a time that you wanted something very badly but, once you got it, found that it wasn’t nearly as satisfying as you had anticipated?
  2. Have you ever been fully satisfied by God alone?
  3. What made the difference between the two emotions?

Father, forgive me the many times I have tried to find satisfaction apart from You. Any pleasure it brought, any happiness was shallow and short-lived. It is only as I come to You, seek You, that my soul and my spirit are deeply nourished. Thank You that You delight to give us “the richest of fare”.

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