My dog is a rescue dog. Nadia, a yorkie with big, brown eyes and a sweet disposition. Stealing looks when she thought no one was looking at the rescue shelter, there was something special about her. So we brought her home. She shook like a leaf when I held her, but there was no squirming in my arms like she wanted to get down. Nadia was scared, but allowed herself to be held.
As expected, she stayed in her crate at first, venturing out to eat, drink, go potty and explore her new surroundings a bit. As she saw that we love and wouldn’t hurt her, her trust began to grow. In two months’ time, Nadia was like a different dog. The scared, withdrawn dog seemed light years away.
Nadia has always been afraid of men, but recently, she went through a period where she was afraid of everyone! One morning, when I attempted to pet her good morning, she shook and tried to hide. I’m not going to lie, it was hard not to take it personal (had I done something to upset her, unbeknownst to me?), but I remembered something a guy at the rescue shelter said. He said that we had to be prepared (and patient) because while Nadia may make progress, she may also revert back to old behavior. I had to remain the same in showing her that I love and would protect her no matter what.
One morning, as she was trying to take one of her toys out of her shoebox, Nadia would gingerly try to grab the toy and jump back when she was unable to pick it up. I decided to help her. As I walked towards her, she froze, looking at me with wide eyes. I took the toy out of the box and placed it in front of her. Nadia looked at the toy, looked up at me and came towards me so I could pet her. I rubbed behind her ears and stopped. Nadia came closer and put her head down for more. My little Nadia was back; nosy, inquisitive, world class beggar and lover of treats. She was back!
I finished breakfast, Nadia played with her toy and then she looked up at me. I held out my hand to her and called her name. At first, she started to run towards me, but stopped and turned around. This went on for the next five minutes or so; Nadia coming forward, then getting distracted by a coat sleeve or whatever else, retreating back to the living room in uncertainty. When Nadia turned around to look at me, she saw that I was still standing there, my hand stretched towards her, waiting for her. That’s when she came, half-run and half-walk, allowing me to pet her. This went on for the next few minutes; Nadia running from the living room back into the kitchen so that I could pet her.
It made me think about how my relationship with God has been from time to time. Basking in His presence without a care in the world, only to withdraw in apprehension because I was remembering past hurts and paralyzed by present insecurities. Through it all, God doesn’t move. He stands with hand outstretched, calling my name, so that He can gather me to Himself and love me. Through all my distraction, hard-headed stubbornness and insecurity, He’s always there, reassuring me that His love is everlasting, unfailing and never changing. His love so great for me that He’ll never let me go. All I have to do is come.
Long ago the Lord said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
Jeremiah 31:3 (New Living translation)