Father in Heaven, I ask that You would bless these words as they enter into the Emails of those who will read them… and also those who won’t. In Jesus name, Amen.
Hello table mates! Let’s pretend we are at a Memorial Day picnic and we are at a picnic table. It has the traditional red and white gingham table cloth. A pot of Geraniums sits in the middle of the table. The stack of paper plates, cups and napkins sit at one end of the picnic table. On a nearby makeshift outdoor table is a large five gallon pitcher of pink lemonade. There is burgers on the grill and a huge bowl of potato salad and baked beans are A’plenty! Watermelon sits decoratively arranged on a platter cut in perfect triangle slices and just to make it a real picnic… ants are making their way up to the watermelon.
Okay, is your mouth watering? Oh how I long for the time we can freely and safely gather together again and enjoy these picnics.
Whenever we would have such gatherings, we would have to make sure our back gate was shut and locked so that our dog didn’t get loose. A fenced in back yard was our best defense against our roaming rover packing a nap sack and setting out for an adventure.
Before we moved to a home with such a back yard, we had to be mindful to have her hooked up to the outdoor leash BEFORE opening the door. She had flown the coop on more than one occasion and we spent a worrisome hour or so “retrieving” her. I make this awful pun because my dog is part Labrador Retriever. Anyway, she made a habit of running off whenever she got the chance.
I don’t know if she felt like she would have more freedom or would maybe have a better life or if she simply wanted the whole world to be her back yard. As a puppy, she had to of course get used to her new home. She had to realize that we were there to protect and shelter her. We were there to feed her and give her water. We were there to give her an abundant life.
What she didn’t know at first was we rescued her to give her a better life. We loved her but she needed to learn that fact. She didn’t understand our words simply telling her that we loved her. She needed to see it in action. She needed to understand the evidence of our love.
Once she understood that… she finally stopped running off!
Friends, much like our family loving Winnie (our precious third child) and wanting to rescue her, God loves us and wants to rescue us.
John 3:16 “For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He even gave His one and only begotten Son, so that whoever believes and trusts in Him as Savior shall not parish, but have eternal life.” (Amp)
God loved His children so very much that He showed that love by giving us a Savior. He rescued us and gave us a better life through His only Son. Jesus who is the bread of life (John 6:35) feeds us. Jesus who is the living water (John 4:14) quenches our thirst.
Sometimes if we have had difficult circumstances in our lives, we find that it is hard to trust that God loves us. But dear readers, just because life has handed us some difficult trials and situations doesn’t mean God doesn’t love us. It takes getting to know God to be able to fully trust God. Just as my Winnie had to get to know us in order to fully trust us. We demonstrated to her that we loved her. We showed her we wanted to take care of her and give her a better life. These verses demonstrate these same attributes that God has towards us.
God doesn’t desire to make you feel fenced in or trapped. My pup feels free to run without being leashed within the boundaries that are safe for her. God wants us to feel safe to Rome and explore safely in the loving boundaries He has shown. The fence in our back yard isn’t there to trap our beloved four legged kid, it’s there to protect her and once she got to know us and trust us, she saw the fence as her freedom. She saw us as her security. She knew we had rescued and saved her. Now that she knows that, even if the fence is left open… she doesn’t run away.
Do you ever feel like you keep running away from God? Do you feel like every time the fence is open, you run off? Get to know your Heavenly Father better. Read His word and learn just how much He loves you. Once you know Him and understand that the boundaries He has are for your safety, you will understand His love for you better. Then even when the gate is left open… you won’t want to run off. .