I once had a pet dog - a companion I would rather say. Her name was 'Dolly' and she lived with us for about ten years (the picture below is the only one I have of her). She died in September this year, it was a heartbreaking experience for me. When I reflect back on the time spent with Dolly, I realize the wonderful things I learned from God through her.
So why am I writing a blog post about a dog on a website that is supposed to
be about Christian messages? And, you may wonder, why should I be so
heartbroken about the loss of a mere animal? The answer to the latter is:
only pet owners will know the grief of losing an animal. The answer to the
former: my dog was a creation of God, and like many things, sent to me to
teach me about God's virtues.
God's virtues in a dog! Yes. When I came home from work, the person most excited to see me was my dog. Seeing Dolly wagging her tail was the most familiar sight to me each and every day of my life. Why was she so excited, so happy to see me everyday? You see... Dolly didn't care with whom I argued with, whom I insulted, whom I cursed or what tensions went through my mind, she only cared that I was back home with her. Does this attitude seem familiar to you?
I often got mad at my dog, I regret that deeply. I got mad and hit my dog sometimes. She would yelp and cower in a corner when I got mad. And when I cooled down, I realized what a rotten human being I was. I looked at Dolly in forgiveness and immediately she came to me wagging her tail. Dolly didn't care if I hit her, or if I was a rotten human being, she only cared that I was friends with her again.
That, my dearest friend, is called unconditional love. I'm sure you've experienced it through someone at least once in your life.
When Christ was being crucified on the cross, the whole of humanity was responsible. It is our sins - our inability to blend with God's ways - that drove Jesus to the cross. But Christ saw past all that and.... He loved us. He loved us so much that He died for us.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NIV)
When Christ was being tormented on the cross, he begged God,
"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34 NIV)
The virtues of Christ Jesus are seen in many of God's creations (for more about this read my book 'The Man from Galilee', chapter entitled 'Elements'). And one of the virtues of Jesus is unconditional love which I learned from Dolly.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV)
As I move on in life, I realize that I have many things to learn. I thank God that He has given me the opportunity to learn about one of his most vivid attributes.
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