“And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.“Luke 15:11-13
We experienced a good monsoon season this summer with many thunderstorms and downpours of needed rain. We also had some fireworks going off everywhere near my house during the Fourth of July weekend. These two things often cause dogs to get scared and run away, but my dog was not scared of fireworks or thunderstorms. He would bark incessantly at the storm and fireworks and act like he wanted to fight them. He was not a normal small dog that gets scared and hides, but it seemed to bring out the big dog in him. I never had a dog quite like him, and he was definitely one of a kind.
We left one Friday night to attend Freedom That Lasts, and put our dog in the back yard as we did every Friday for the last six years. We typically get home quite late on these nights, so we sometimes come home to a sleeping dog on the patio. On this particular Friday night, we came home and he was not at the door, so we thought he would be asleep on the patio. We looked, but he was not there, so we continued to search the backyard for him. We wondered where he could have gone, and we even searched the house thinking we may have left him in. When we did not find him in the house, we came to the conclusion that he was gone.
We looked by the gate and saw evidence of a dog on the run. He had dug the smallest hole and must have magically contorted his little body to squeeze under the gate. After searching for him in the neighborhood we finally went to bed, but we were confident we would find him in the morning. We woke up the next day and still could not locate him, and we even had some good friends come together to help, but to no avail. Volunteers from a non-profit organization came and helped us post flyers, but to this day, our pup is still on the loose.
I am not sure where my pup has gone, and I am not sure why he left. There are dozens of scenarios that go through my mind, but I hope he is with a good family that loves him like we did. He lived like a king in our house where he was loved, fed, groomed, and spoiled. He loved my wife Rebekah and tolerated me, but he had my heart in his pocket as we often shared every meal together.
I question my dog’s motives as to why he would leave, but I have done the same in leaving my God. I have demanded immediate gratification in search of riotous living and looking for all the bright lights of the world. Like my dog, I have dug a hole under the gate God has put in my life to keep me from foolishly pursuing “greener” pastures that did not exist. I wiggled my way out of his umbrella of care in search of adventure, only to find it fruitless and after a time, I find myself searching to come back through the gate I dug under. The beautiful thing is that I do not have to dig my way back, but my God lovingly opens the gate for me and graciously welcomes me in as I would do with glee if my dog came home.
Where are you today friend? Have you left the safety of your God to pursue a world that only leaves you dirty, battered, and in worse shape? Have you spent all that you have spiritually in riotous and reckless living? Do you know God will gladly take you back if you will repent and ask for forgiveness? 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Return through the gate He has open for you.