Yesterday, our family went to the mall together so Chris could get a haircut, and the rest of us could simply get out of the house. We arrived to his appointment a little early so we walked around and found ourselves at the pet shop. They always have dogs in the front window playing and beckoning random people passing by to come in and take them home. Anyone who knows me well, knows I’ve never really been much of an animal person. Living with 6 people in our family makes me feel like the last thing I want is to have someone or something else to pick up after.
But this was a different day. I saw this precious black and brown dachshund in the window and I felt a stirring in my heart. This was quite a stark contrast to my normal feelings toward four legged creatures. I tried to ignore the feeling, but I suddenly felt an invitation. This invitation is something I have grown accustomed to in my walk with Jesus. In random places, if you listen, you will hear the Lord presenting an opportunity to stretch your love. All at once, I knew that I could choose to open my heart up to loving that dog. Simultaneously, I was seeing all the work involved in caring for a new animal.
I had a choice, I could focus on the work part of it all or I could focus on the opportunity to love.
I know this story could seem very simple and silly even, but I believe this is a great analogy for life. I always seem to view life based on the practicality of things. While this is a great perspective, it shouldn’t overshadow opportunities for real relationship and love.
Does that make sense?
We ended up getting the dog, and I immediately and purposefully let my guard down and something really wonderful happened! Not only did I fall seriously in love with the dog, but I also grew in affection for the other two animals we already have at home.
Allowing my heart to open to love, in the midst of inconvenience seems to have set me free in some ways.
I challenge you today and every day to pay attention to the little tugs. The little promptings God gives us. The seemingly small opportunities that can turn into even larger blessings.
I pray today, God would open your eyes and ears to see and hear Him in the everyday things. I pray you would not overlook the small stuff because it seems insignificant. Rather, embrace each moment and its potentially lasting impact on your life and heart. And I bless you in the name of Jesus, Amen.
And we have come to know and believe the love that God has for us. God is love; whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. In this way, love has been perfected among us, so that we may have confidence on the day of judgment; for in this world we are just like Him. There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. I John 4:16-19
Little children, let us love not in word and speech, but in action and truth. And by this we will know that we belong to the truth, and will assure our hearts in His presence. I John 3:18-19