When I get home, the lone male tabby runs to greet me. For some reason no one else can approach him. Not my wife, my daughter, my other children, nor any other person. For reasons unknown to me, I am the only one that he trusts. He hops up into my lap, and puts his big paws on my shoulders and actually nestles his head under my neck. He licks my face and just stares into my eyes. I take his face gently by both hands and stroke him and softly speak to him and tell him repeatedly that I love him and that he is my big buddy boy.
Pets love their owners in such an unconditional way that I asked myself the question: Why do our pets love us without question? They don’t care if we’ve had a bad day or if we corrected them yesterday for making a mess on the living room floor. They have a short memory of the trouble they got into. They keep short records of their own misdeeds and our corrections or discipline. They simply come and jump into our laps with little or no coaxing. This is the love that reminds me of the Father for us.
I believe that God provided pets for us to learn that He also loves us unconditionally. He accepts our imperfections. He doesn’t remember and keep a tab of our shortcomings. He is always ready to have us climb up into His comfortable and secure lap. God may give us these special beings as a reminder of this. If we can love our pets in such a tender and gentle way and that we love them so much even though they are inferior to us, then God can love as even more so regard less of the fact that we too are far inferior to Him.
God had a special purpose for the beloved pets in our family. When one dies, we take it hard because a part of our family has died with them. We’ve had burials in our backyard for them and had funerals for them. And yes, we grieved them after they are gone. The pictures of them we have remind us of our connection with them that can not ever be separated. Love is not conditioned upon behavior, mistakes, accidents, and willful disobedience. Once you are a child of His, then you will never be removed from the family. That relationship is permanent. Nothing can change it or separate it. Not life or death, “neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord“(Rom 8:39).
Psalm 103 reminds me of this unfathomable love. Remember that anytime you see the Lord in all capital letters, this is always referring to God the Father.
3 Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; 16 the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him.
Everlasting means without end. That’s a very comforting thing to know isn’t it?