GOODNESS GRACIOUS

By Tommy Rush

This week I overheard a member of our church sharing with my secretary about his dog’s favorite food. He told her that he could get his dog to obey just about any command by giving him peanut butter. We have a family dog named “Buddy” and our best tool for training him has been a piece of pound cake. “Buddy” is part Labrador Retriever and part Great Dane, so a spoonful of peanut butter might not be sufficient. He’s a big and growing dog. I’m sure it would take a full jar of peanut butter. The truth is any food you bring out usually gets his immediate attention.

I’ve had several dogs in my lifetime. My grandfather trained Bird Hunting Dogs for many years and I don’t recall ever seeing him use peanut butter or poundcake. Having a dog in the family again has brought back a lot of memories. I’ve enjoyed morning walks and watching “Buddy” go through his morning routine. As soon as I walk out on the porch each morning and pet him a few times, he turns and begins running full speed to the pond. He waits until I get in sight, then he begins working his way back to the barn. After chasing a few rabbits or field mice, he takes a water break before racing across the pasture to check on the neighbor’s dog, “Susie.” When he’s ready to eat, he either comes to the porch and looks in the window to find me or he goes to his pen and begins flipping his bowl in the air to get my attention.

Recently my wife laughed when I told her my plans for teaching “Buddy” a new command. The new command is “Bring me your bowl and I’ll fill it.” Don’t ever laugh at a man and his dog! I’ll post the video the first time he goes to get his bowl and brings it to my feet to fill. I’m on a mission. Yesterday I thought about using the pound cake with some peanut butter spread on top.

Actually there’s a verse of scripture that sounds pretty similar. Psalm 81:10 says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” In a sense, God’s saying, “Bring your bowl and I’ll fill it up.” Throughout the Bible we read how much God loves us and how He longs to fill and bless our lives. However, we are always called to come to Him, to open the door of our heart or surrender our will to His will. God never forces His life and blessings on us. Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” The Lord always waits for us to come home. Just like the father in the prodigal son story, He eagerly waits to pour out His goodness and grace on all who come home.

Are you hungry for more of Jesus in your life? Do you have a desire for the Lord to fill your marriage, to strengthen your faith, to bless your family with His grace? Can you hear the Master’s voice saying,“Bring Me your bowl (life) and I will fill it.”


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