“Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden (exhausted and weighed down with a heavy load) and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am meek and lowly of heart and you shall find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Pacha was a solemn dog when we picked him up at the pound. Over the years we could not convince him that we loved him and that he was a good dog. Whenever he got in trouble for urinating (or worse) in the house, or if we ever raised our voices at him for not coming when called, he would sulk for days, moping, not eating, looking you in the eye with big, sad eyes that said, “Oh woe is me. I am a baaaaad doggy.” If I called Pacha after a transgression he pretended he could not hear. Fear would fill his eyes as he made his little plans to escape punishment. “Pacha, come here!” I commanded, but Pacha instead ran and hid in the closet or under my daughter’s bed.
One night Pacha was sick and just could not wait to go to the bathroom outside, so he dropped his entire load…in the shower. It was easy to scoop up and toss into the toilet and it was even easier to rinse and I thought to myself, “not a bad solution.” So I called him. Pacha lowered his head in shame. “I know, I know, I’ve been a bad, bad, bad dog.” I called him again, only this time he came, head lowered, ready to receive his punishment. Instead I congratulated him. I said, “Good job, Pacha. That was some creative thinking.” Then Pacha did something he had never done before and never did again. He jumped to his hind feet and did a doggy dance, twirling in a circle while his front paws bounced up and down gleefully. Then he ran through the hall into the living room and then back to me mouth open in a doggy smile. Pacha was elated! He thought he deserved punishment, but instead received mercy.
Oh, God calls us every day. Come to Me all you who fail and fall short in so many ways and sometimes feel like you will never amount to anything. Come to Me all you who are burdened with feelings of inadequacy or who feel like nobody cares for you. I will love you and give you rest.
Hiding is never a good option. Hiding from God anywhere is as foolish as Pacha cowering under my daughter’s bed. What kind of Pacha are you? The one who hides or the one who approaches when God calls? We should come to Him every day and then dance with delight when we realize that God truly loves us and has forgiven us of every wrong and has a good plan for our lives. In fact He wants to place His very nature—His goodness, deep within our souls. So come forward, weep if you must, but get ready to dance as He freely pardons.
Never stop approaching God and never stop dancin’.