Anna: Praising God for His grace, strength and presence in our lives
Last night we had a fairly severe thunderstorm in our area and our dogs were quite nervous. We have two dogs, an older schnoodle (mini schnauzer/poodle) mix named Kolar, and a young, pet store raised, mini schnauzer named Emma. Emma is our "rescue" dog. She is high-strung, nervous and unwilling to trust people -- especially if that person is me. Over time we have begun to form a bond, but she still eyes me warily. I am her authority, and though she seems to want my love in the moments that she forgets herself and frolics about and kisses me, she only wants it in her timing, not necessarily in mine. Occasionally I will pick her up and hold her if she gets too on edge, and then she will relax and tuck her head under my chin... for about 30 seconds. Then off she runs - back to her balls and toys and place on the couch. She wants to be close to my husband and I, but the slightest movement will make her run away. She will watch me and listen to me, demand that I feed her or take her out, and then totally ignore me and run to my daughter to be loved and petted, looking to see if I notice. But last night in the thunderstorm she wanted Mom. Not just next to me. She wanted on my lap with my arm under her. Then she sighed, relaxed, and lay her head on my lap. I was thrilled! I could pet her and love her just like I have wanted to do so often. My heart was full. Then the storm passed, and she jumped off my lap to the other couch as though it had never happened.
As she sat there looking at me, just out of reach, I thought, "All I want to do is love you. Why don't you trust me? I was the only place you wanted to be during the storm, but as soon as it's over you ignore me!" And then it struck me. The object lesson of Emma. Am I an Anna that praises God daily for His grace, strength and presence in my life by trying to be near Him constantly? By showing my love to Him in obedience? By relaxing into His love for me? Or am I an Emma? Demanding food and privileges and shelter in the storms, and then ignoring Him or watching Him suspiciously when He attempts to show His love for me? And I saw myself. And it was humbling.
Are you an Anna or an Emma? Can you relax into His everlasting arms and trust Him to do what is best for you every day? Can you praise Him in all circumstances? Or do you only run to Him in the storms and keep Him at arm's length the rest of the time... unless, of course, you want something from Him? Are you afraid to trust, afraid to love, because it might hurt? The Lord has done SO much to show us His love -- to the point of death! May each of our lives bear daily proof of our love for Him!!