Washing Duvets

Our dog, Jack, if I do say so myself, has truly landed on his feet by coming to live with my mother and me.  From dismal beginnings as a homeless puppy in a ditch, to a life of morning peanut butter sticks, daily nutritional food, an assortment of toys, and even his own duvet’ to sleep on.  He loves his duvet so fluffy and soft.  It’s not unusual to suddenly notice it’s gone quiet in the house and he has seemingly disappeared; but no, he’s napping on his billowy duvet.

It was time this week to wash it.  I pulled it out of his bed and wadded it up into a huge ball for easy carrying to the dryer.  This got Jack’s immediate attention.  He came over and took a mouth full of duvet, trying to pull it away from me.  “Jack,” I said, “I need to wash your duvet.”  He looked at me with great astonishment as I pulled the duvet out of his hopeful jaws and stuffed it into the washing machine.  The timer being set, I glanced at Jack and couldn’t help but laugh.  There he was doing a vulture imitation with his head hung low to the floor.  The loss of his duvet obviously weighed heavy upon him.

I thought to myself, if only he could understand I’m making his treasured duvet even better.  That’s when a truth hit me.  I didn’t want to think about it but I had to stop and consider my own behavior before my Heavenly Father.  Hadn’t Jack’s lack of understanding and pouting, at times over the years, been mine, too?

My thoughts quickly darted to yesteryears, remembering times when Father had given me a wonderful blessing of some sort.  I was so happy!  Then, with the passing of time, something happened that I could not understand.  It seemed the blessing had turned sour.  Why would God let such a thing come to pass?  What was happening?  I cringed as I recalled that, like Jack, I too had hung my head like a vulture, disappointed in what I did not understand about God.  Was there some lesson God was teaching me?  Was this a molding time?  Had I done something wrong?

All those serious thoughts swirled in my brain.  I made myself believe God must have been disappointed in me; when actually, all He was doing was making my blessing even better.  I’m sure I’m not alone in sometimes being a bit befuddled concerning methods of God.  While no one can understand God’s ways fully, we do know that His ways are always, without exception, for our good.  He tells us so in Romans 8:28.  God loves us without measure.  Therefore, when something goes wrong  — it doesn’t necessarily mean that God is displeased with us.  He might just be washing duvets.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”  Proverbs 3:5



Intense Desire

I looked up the word “passion” in the dictionary.  The definition is: having an intense desire or enthusiasm for something.  The reason I looked up the official meaning of the word is because of a verse I came across this week that touched something deep within me.  It’s found in Exodus 34:14, “God is passionate about His relationship with you.”  When we take time to meditate upon these words, the depth and height of its meaning is sheer ecstasy.

God so loves each one of us that He will do whatever it takes to reveal that love to us.  We may see His love through nature, contemplating the making of a tree or how a bird floats with outstretched wing in the sky.  Sometimes we catch a glimpse of the heights of His love when we gaze upon the ultrasound of a child, toes and fingers forming, eyes, nose and mouth all there.  At other times, as we call upon God to quieten the anguish of our hearts and the fury of our thoughts when turmoil attempts to choke to death all hope and peace, we begin to understand the passion of our Father.

You see, His love is so vast and pure that He will use all of life, the good and the terrible, to bring us to a place where we look up and find the resources to get us through each day.  We read in Ephesians 1:3 that God “has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms…” In other words, He has given us a treasure chest filled with everything to get us through anything, and all because He is passionate about us.  He knows when we look up to Him, we will find the fingers of His love ready to wipe away all tears.  We will find a trove of His abundance to fill us with peace in the midst of grief, or hope in times of despair, or guidance when we know we are lost and can’t find the way for today, which makes tomorrow a formidable thought.  When we look up to Him, we find courage to endure the unfathomable and strength to reach out and lend a hand to another even when our own hearts are breaking.  As we begin to soak in the passion of God’s love for us, we become overwhelmed with fresh understanding of His intense desire for everything good to come out of everything bad in our lives.

There is no sweeter hope than for one to look up, discover His love, take hold of His hand, and dare to walk with Him into the darkness, for it is then that we are swathed in the light of His passion for us.