I love my dog. I don’t think much about my capacity to love, but when my dog comes running up to me after I’ve had a long day away from home, I can see how much blind love she has toward me. Her eyes and her crazy affection tell me that nothing else in the world compares to my hand rubbing the top of her head. The fact that she finds within me all the compassion that she could ever need is a somewhat intimidating thought. I know something to which she must be oblivious; I’m a sinful, imperfect, man.
One thing interesting about my dog is that she has this tendency when she knows that she has done something wrong, she curls up her tail and practically tiptoes up to me with her ears back. She humiliates herself as she creeps up to my leg and stares at me. She knows the potential (to her it is the inevitable) wrath of her master. At these times I wonder if she has become aware of the mercy I’ll show after I sternly tell her that her action was bad. Why else would she come humbly before me when she has sinned against me? Wouldn’t she rather go hide under the bed? Why make her actions known to me?
When I think of God as my father I begin to understand my dog. The fear and trembling that comes with a sovereign God is not such a terribly demeaning phrase. Paul seemed to think it was the most frequent posture when speaking with God, as it was a phrase he used quite a bit (Ephesians 6:5; Philippians 2:12). But when I think of God’s grace it makes sense that I should never run and hide from my God.
When we go into prayer we must always be prepared to see love, it is in this light that we will enter more frequently. Hosea 11 gives us a beautifully proper motivation for prayer when he writes the word of our Lord: “”For I am God, and not man – the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath. They will follow the LORD; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west. They will come trembling like birds from Egypt, like doves from Assyria. I will settle them in their homes,” declares the LORD.”
If there is something within your heart that causes a hindrance between you and your God, allow for that thing to be dissolved – shake it off with fear and trembling. When we come before our God remember that Jesus took your deserved wrath, so that nothing could come between you and your God. My dog knows that I will not hold back love; she realizes that once she gets that bad stuff out of the way it is all love and affection. How much more will our Father shower us in his steadfast love when we simply come and let him take us home?
Pastor Chris Osterbrock
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com