I’m adding another story to a zillion “tales” about dog owners loving their K-9. For the record, I lay a wager to win any dog lover contest and am fighting against changing today’s FROG blog to DOG blog: replacing Fully Rely On God with Depend on God. This reflection shines light from a lesson I learned through my favorite dog.

A parent from a school where I used to work brought a black lab puppy to the front office. She requested help in finding homes for a new litter of 10 labs. I saw the dog and knew I’d adopt him and name him James.

The name James means perseverance. James (the human) wrote my favorite book in the Bible. James (the puppy) had to be “divine intervention.” I was distance running at the time and practicing increased stamina. Labs require much exercise and I needed running endurance. A match made in heaven.

There are 1000’s of reasons why I loved James and 100’s of ways my heart broke when he died at seven years old. One habit James had was whenever I entered any door, no matter how long I had been gone, he’d stop what he was doing to search for something to show me. He’d grab any item that was in his path to display his enthusiasm for my entry. He was insistent on bringing tokens of love, including a toy, sock, bone, or occasionally a couch pillow.

One day, James looked panicked while he hunted for a show and tell object. The house was spotless and loose items weren’t readily available to retrieve. He ran up and down stairs, whimpering as he darted from room to room as if to say, “Just wait. I promise I’ll find a gift to bring.” His quest turned from cute to sad, so I said, “James, just bring me yourself and that will be plenty.” He continued living up to his enduring name and persevered until he found a doorstop as that day’s prize.

That observation prompted me to understand how God wants me to live. He doesn’t require or ask me to make a name for Him. He’s done that (and more) without my assistance. Like James, I mistakenly think I must persevere and produce to get God’s attention or approval. Eph. 1:5 teaches that I am adopted as His child.

I wonder if God watches me in the same way I observed James as he painstakingly searched to produce an unnecessary-for-love-sacrifice. I picture my Creator gently but pointedly telling me, “Christina, just bring me yourself and that will be plenty.”

Father, thank you for adopting me into Your eternal family. Remind me (often) how You made me complete in Christ and You love me unconditionally (Ps. 35:5-6). Help me yearn to show others the love You’ve relentlessly shown me.

Searching for You with perseverance, Christina

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