JD and I have been dog-sitting for some friends of ours this week while they’ve been on their honeymoon. Said canine is the size of a small pony and is three times as strong. I’ve alternately nicknamed her the shrieking-banshee-in-the-night (apparently she’s an early riser–a very. early. riser) and the thrice-blasted-Houdini-dog (for the time she mysteriously disappeared from our backyard). A few days ago, I informed her that she was the Grinch who stole Christmas; her response was to lick my hand, sneeze down my arm, and turn into super-dog with jet-powered paws. By her third lap around the house, I had laughed until tears rolled down my cheeks.
One thing that has been singularly unique this dog that I have not experienced with other dogs has been her determination to always keep me or JD in sight. She shadows every step we take, following from room to room with a slightly tilted head and a wrinkle on her fuzzy brow as if trying to figure us out.
One night when JD was still at work, I decided to experiment with her; I threw her bone into the living room and when she dashed after it, I quickly snuck into the laundry room and hopped up on the dryer. She found me in thirty seconds and gave me the, “What on earth are you doing?” look that only a dog can give. Now, every time she passes that room, she glances at the dryer to make sure there’s not some other crazy, pregnant lady up there.
Her dogged (pun intended) determination to stay near us has had me thinking about the concept of following in Scripture. Psalm 23 says that goodness and mercy follow after us all the days of our lives. Proverbs 18:24 talks of a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 3:3 admonishes us to keep mercy and truth bound to us at all times.
Perhaps the passage that gripped me the most, though, was Jeremiah 2:2:
Thus says the LORD,
“I remember the devotion of your youth,
your love as a bride,
how you followed me in the wilderness,
in a land not sown. . . “
The Lord, through Jeremiah, was speaking to His beloved Israel about the forty years they sojourned in the desert after their escape from Egypt. In the midst of their complaining and their failures, He chose to remember their devotion and reference their utter dependence on Him.
I want to be a God-follower. I want devotion to be real. Sometimes my following is more like the way I follow a friend on the highway–I can see them in the distance but there are a few cars between us and I glance away to take in the bumper stickers and the license plates in front of me. I want to follow Him like Margo has followed me this week–always underfoot and fully prepared to whine and yelp at any separation until the barrier between us is removed. Whether He woos me in the wilderness or we rest together by still waters, I want to ache for His Presence.
How about you? Does your heart ache for Him?