Disastrous Dog

It was a moment of truth.

For several hours this week, under the watchful eye of a kind and generous friend, I trained Lily, my 8-month old German Shepherd puppy.  On Saturday, in obedience class, I wanted her to shine, to be the star pupil, to have all those in the class marvel at her improvement.

Only problem was, Lily never got the memo.  For about 45 minutes of an hour long class, she pranced, she danced, she whirled to greet the other dogs.  She did everything fun and nothing she was supposed to do!  All the things Lily completed so well in practice became impossible tasks in her class.

There was no other way to describe our performance, but a messy disaster.  But then, life is messy.  If it weren’t, there would be no need for grace.  God revealed a bit about myself as my disobedient dog disrupted the class: How much I need grace.

We will never get it all “right” and we are going to mess up time and time again.  It is why we need Him so desperately.

Every day I offer up to God a messy disaster – times I’ve strayed from His Word, times I was unkind, times I didn’t obey or even listen to what He wanted from me.  And yet, He still loves me

II Corinthians 11:30 states, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”  Paul nailed it on the head; for Saturday I saw my weakness for dog training.  So let me boast a minute about my canine handling skill.

Lily loves me, but she has also figured out that I’m the “easy” one.  I’ve yet to determine where the fine line between discipline and abuse is located, so I’m not a stern disciplinarian.

But, just as I love Lily and didn’t leave her at the kennel after her poor performance, God smothers me with abundant grace providing me with daily opportunities to walk much closely with Him…to lean into Him because He is the only one that can teach and train and heal and comfort perfectly.

There is an art to celebrating a disastrous performance.  The art of celebrating a messy life is about rejoicing in the extravagant gift of grace.  So later today, Lily and I will practice our drills again; hopefully not as messy as on Saturday.  I will strive to live life more fully devoted to Him, by discovering in the messes of my life, the extravagant grace God gives.  And discover once more, Who I can really count on.

Question 4U:  How is life feeling a bit messy for you right now? 

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