I find that the members of my family teach me as much about the love of God as anyone else. That includes my youngest (not littlest) baby, Evie. I’ve written about Evie a few times in the past. She is our one-year-old Golden Doodle. She is a sweet girl and she is under the impression that our attention should be focused on her at all times. This is particularly true when she wants to play ball, which is often.
Evie loves to play ball. The first thing Evie does when I come down the stairs every morning is run to get her ball and bring it to me. The first thing Evie does when I come home from work every afternoon is run to get her ball and bring it to me. She is ready to play ball ALL THE TIME! If I don’t reach down and grab the ball quickly enough, Evie will use her nose to maneuver my hand to wherever she wants it and place the ball in my hand… sort of.
Evie doesn’t always immediately release the ball. When I take hold of the ball, she’ll often grip the ball tighter between her teeth and pull. We then begin having a conversation. I inform her that I don’t want to play “Tug,” but that if she would like for me to throw the ball I will. She simply needs to lay the ball down and we’ll play. So, right on cue, and as if she understood exactly what I said to her, Evie will lay the ball down right in front of my hand. As soon as I reach out to take it, however, she snatches it off the couch, and we find ourselves pulling against one another again. I love playing ball with Evie, but if we’re going to play ball, she has to give up control of her favorite toy. She has to leave it in my hands.
“If you want me to move in this situation, I will, but I can’t do anything for you if you won’t lay it down.”
This morning as I was drinking coffee and playing ball with Evie, I found myself having this conversation with her again. She brought me the ball, placed it in my hand, and as soon as I took hold, she started pulling. I looked her in her brown eyes and said, “Baby, if you want to play ball, we’ll play ball, but I can’t do anything for you if you won’t lay it down.” As the words left my mouth they hit me in the face like a wayward tennis ball. It was as if God was speaking to me in that moment. I could hear Him saying, “If you want me to move in this situation, I will, but I can’t do anything for you if you won’t lay it down.”
In I Peter 5:6-7 it reads, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” The imagery of this passage lines up perfectly with my exchange with Evie. God is our loving Father. He is pleased when we come to Him throughout the course of our days. His desire is to be an active participant in the situations and circumstances we face. But, in order for him to move on our behalf, we have to put those things, and I would argue our very lives, in His mighty hand. Sure, He could get a firm grip and pull it away from us, but God isn’t about playing tug with us. If we want to carry it around with us, He’ll let us. If we want Him to engage, we have to let it go. When we do, He will take hold of the realities of our lives and move as only He can. We have to lay it down and let it go.
When we come to the Lord, eagerly place our lives in His hands, and look trustingly up at Him, waiting for Him to do what only He can do for us, I believe it gives the Father joy.
I love Evie. That big energetic ball of black fur makes my heart happy. I love playing ball with her. When I see her ears perk up and her massive tail wagging a mile a minute, I know that life is good for my pup. Consequently, life is good for me. While it may seem overly simplistic, I believe the love of God works similarly with us. When we come to the Lord, eagerly place our lives in His hands, and look trustingly up at Him, waiting for Him to do what only He can do for us, I believe it gives the Father joy. But, in order for God to play ball, we have to lay it down.