About eight months before my husband, David, and I were married, we took a trip to the Central Missouri Humane Society. It was there that David met and brought home the world’s best dog, Steven T. Cover. Steve was the ultimate companion. He went everywhere with David and, once we were married, he soon went everywhere with me. Steve was the office dog, the Kids Club dog, the Women’s Ministry dog, and even the A.G. Edwards dog when he was in St. Louis with my dad. I brought Steve to the 2 year-old classroom on a Sunday morning when we were learning about God making the animals. Steve sat in the middle of the room, head bowed, while 20 children pulled his tail, tugged his floppy ears, and eagerly patted his back. He didn’t make a peep or move a muscle.
About 10 months into marriage, our naïve, newly married selves thought it would be a great idea to adopt another dog. We wanted to adopt an older dog that would stay home during the day and be Steve’s “buddy”. Then we met Buster. Buster was a rescued stray with hypothyroidism. A beagle mix who, when rescued, weighed in at a whopping 68 pounds. Here’s proof, no Photoshop:
One of the kind-hearted staff at the Humane Society kept Buster in her home and brought his weight down to less than 40 pounds. When we met him, we fell in love. He seemed mild-mannered and sweet and we couldn’t wait to take him home!
Well if Steve was the world’s best dog, Buster was the world’s worst. His main goal in life was to get his paws on any/all food within a 1 mile radius of his current location. Two loaves of pumpkin bread? Sure! A whole box of Oreos? Why not! A one pound bag of uncooked rice? Don’t mind if I do! This dog was raised on the street and there was no house training him. I look back to the 4 months he lived with us and they were some of the most stressful I’ve ever had. (Both Steve and Buster passed away within a month of each other.) David and I did everything we did to train him, love him, and keep him healthy, but Buster would have none of it. He was content going to the bathroom in the corners of the house and eating bacon grease out of the trash. It was discouraging and frustrating.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m a bit more of a “Buster” than a “Steve”. My sinful nature wins out all-to-often in my heart. God has a plan set in place for me, and I am quick to turn away from that plan to follow my own. Yet, how often do I experience the consequences of turning way to simply repent and go right on sinning?
I am thankful for a forgiving God who doesn’t turn away from my stubborn heart. I am thankful for a gracious God. I am thankful that his mercies are new each morning. I am thankful that God laments when I turn away in sin and rejoices when I come back to him. I cannot say that I’m thankful for the 4 months I spent with Buster in my home, but I am thankful for a very real example of how my sin looks to my almighty God.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.