Skunked dogs, Rahab, and the Non-End of the World

THROWBACK: One of the never finished posts from May 22. I did like this though, so I’m going to attempt to revise the end. I’ll asterisk * where I have picked it up today.

I went to Creston this past weekend and spent some time with one of my favorite families. They have a few dogs, one of which happens to believe he is invincible. M.J. walked straight at my car as I was pulling in and I wasn’t sure he was going to stop. He actually got distracted and looked the other way while still walking toward my moving vehicle. He also thinks he’s a cow-dog, and frequently likes to chase the cows next door.

He happens to be a tiny black terrier.

Over the couple of days I was there, I found out he also had broken his jaw with an encounter with a neighboring horse a while ago and had to have surgery, but still chases cattle of Goliath-proportions to himself on a daily basis. Last week he got sprayed by a skunk. He keeps going back and smelling the area where he was sprayed, getting new stinky oil on his face, despite his owners attempts at cleaning the area with hydrogen peroxide. Needless to say, he’s not the world’s brightest dog, but you have to wonder what’s going through his head. All I could think of was Proverbs 26:11: “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.”

I thought about some people in my life who seem to keep repeating foolishness, and I considered my own foolish behavior. I can be so frustrated when I see people I love trading the opportunity for growth and new dependence on God for things that they already know, more specifically, things they already know don’t work and are not beneficial to them spiritually and otherwise. Ok, so I know I’m a go-getter, and I tend to proverbially just “jump” into new circumstances, and that not everyone’s personality is like that, but I have to wonder, where is the boundary between personality and pride? I don’t really think it’s a “personality difference” to choose to return to sin; it’s a matter of the condition of one’s heart.

As a daughter of God whose wandering tendencies have literally been stopped or corrected by God’s intervention and grace alone, I’m pretty sure that where our personalities stray from God’s Will for us is sin. In this particular context of willfully returning to sin, consider what biblical examples we have of what God says about sin. More specifically, look at those who have been great sinners, becoming even greater proponents of faith.

This morning’s message was about Joshua 2, and one such woman named Rahab. * Rahab was not Hebrew. In fact, even in Jericho she had a low standing due to her profession, so it is once again evidence of how God obliterates our ideas and vain standards of what people God uses should be like. Although she was a prostitute, she was industrious, making cords and probably other similar textiles in her spare time. She had no man to provide for her, and in fact, I’m surprised she was not bitter about her life, or at the very least, unwilling to help two men. But instead, she saw God simply, placing her faith on the bit of Him she knew; His power. That faith is what led her to risk her own well-being by hiding spies who represented those who wanted to overtake her city, and it was faith that kept her in her house in the wall, while God delivered her but took stone off of stone to the foundations all around her.

I admire her discernment and courage. I love her for being redeemed by God and living by faith. I see myself in her, and I am thankful for God in His knowledge reminding us that He is after our hearts, which leads to giving our lives. Even three months after originally pondering this, I am still processing the implications of how God works and loves. I want more of it.

And I am also glad the world did not end so I have more opportunity to grow and share love. May you also grow in knowledge of who He is.

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