My sister sent me an email the other day. (She sends me a lot of emails, but this one is relevant to this blog…) She’d been thinking about the way dogs serve us. The way they give all their time and energy to serve us, expecting only our care in return. They are always willing and thankful for each opportunity they get to serve us in whatever way we wish.
She was thinking specifically about service dogs, like sheepdogs, or seeing-eye dogs. Or in our research team’s case, dogs sniffing out some bullfrogs… (Yeah, we got that… Check Jessie the Sheepdog’s Facebook page. Or go read about the research we’re doing with her on our group’s Facebook or webpage. African Amphibian Conservation Research Group (AACRG)). In any case, without wandering off the point, these dogs only have one purpose in life, and that’s to do the will of their owners or handlers. They will do anything in their power to keep their blind/deaf owner, or any owner for that matter, safe from harm. They constantly watch their owner’s every move, so they can know exactly when and how they are needed. They eagerly await instruction without murmuring or moaning when they get it.
In this same way, we should be serving our Lord, Jesus. We should completely trust in His Goodness and ability to care for us, like our dogs trust us, even when it’s not one of our favourite things (like when you take your dog to the vet, for instance).
Just as the dog continuously look at their owner for instruction, and then obey the command with enthusiasm and loyal love, our eyes should also be fixed on Jesus. This is the only way we will know what He wants for us to do next so that we can obey Him with that same love. This will also allow us to understand Him better and learn to know Him and His voice all the better.
I think, in the Bible, Jesus used the parables of the sheep following the Shepherd’s voice, because it was common to His audience then. Dogs were considered to be cruel, probably because they weren’t as domesticated then as now. But presently, I can relate better with sheep following their owner’s voice, without them seeing us as their owner. They see us more like a best friend (one of the ways we should be seeing Jesus).
To leave you with a thought… One of my friends once told me once that she was terrified of dogs when she was small. She hated them. And that lasted until she was in primary school, when one of her teachers asked her if she believed in God. She answered that she did, to which her teacher gave an interesting answer. “If you believe in God, you shouldn’t be afraid of a dog, because dog, is just God spelled backwards…”
Check the character resemblances between Jesus and dogs (with all due respect) for yourself… 😉