“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 NIV)
“Dad! There’s a dog in the back yard.”
It was a few years ago during a sweltering Summer day. It hadn’t rained in weeks and the grass had started to turn brown and die. I was sitting in front of my window air conditioner trying to cool down a bit when my son called to me. I walked over to the back door and looked outside. There sniffing around our back yard was the dog. He didn’t look in very good shape either. He was a mixed breed with hound dog ears but was horribly underweight. I could see the skin stretched tight over his ribs. He looked like he hadn’t eaten in weeks.
I quickly grabbed two bowls and filled one with dog food and the other with water. I walked out my door and called to the poor pooch. He wagged his bony tail and walked over to me. I sat down the two bowls and watched him devour the food and then drink the water with equal gusto. I stretched my hand out and gently petted him on the head for a minute. Then I realized that I had made a foolish mistake: in my rush to bring him some food I had forgotten to bring out a leash. I walked quickly back inside and got one, but by the time I went back outside the dog was gone. I called and looked for him but without success. All I could do was say a little prayer that this guy would find his way back home again.
I never saw that dog again but I still think about him from time to time. He reminds me of similar mistakes I have made in my own life. Often I have gone to God with a hungry heart and starving soul and been fed by His Love. Then as soon as I felt full and strong again I would wander off and away from Him, only to end up in worse shape than when I started.
God loves us all so much. But He won’t put a leash on us. If we want to live in His Love it will have to be by our own choice. And if we choose to wander off He will let us go until we want to come back home again. Don’t make my mistakes then. Don’t wait until your soul is starving and your life is miserable before coming home again. Welcome God’s love into your heart today! Make your home with Him Now! And carry that home within you wherever you journey in this life.
Joseph J. Mazzella