There is a car magnet or decal I’ve been seeing for awhile. It’s in the shape of a paw print with the question, “who rescued who?” Even though it’s kind of cute, I have mixed feelings about this sentiment. One the one hand I think it is very important to remember that we humans are the ones doing the rescuing. To be confused about this can too easily lead to the kind of inverted relationships that are the cause of so much bad behavior in dogs. On the other hand, the decals clearly speak to the very human need to demonstrate our love through the giving of ourselves to others. Indeed, we are somehow made whole only when we give of ourselves in this way.
I believe that this desire to demonstrate our love by giving of ourselves is one of the unique ways in which, as the Bible says, we are made in the image of God (Gen 1:26-27). Some other ways are our thirst for truth, our appreciation of beauty, and our desire to create in an inventive sort of way. These are traits that we share with Holy God who made us this way so that He could demonstrate His love for us and so that we should know and appreciate His Glory. God created us, he provides for us and He protects us. When we come to know Him we are saved— rescued from a life of pointlessly pursuing our own desires unto death. When we come to understand that our purpose is found in glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever, we truly begin to live—and we will do so forever. Just as domestic dogs are made to live with people, so people are made to live in the presence of God.
When we rescue a dog, we do so not so much because he is lovable but because we desire to show him our love. In order to love him they way we want to and to share as much of our lives with him as we can, we must first transform him and get him to understand that our rules and ways are there for his own good so that he may live in peace and comfort with us. God desires the same for you and me. When we put Him first and honor His will for our lives we begin to live more fully. Jesus said, “Come to me all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11: 28-29) If you’d like to talk me further about rescuing a dog or even about God’s plan to rescue you, please contact me through this website. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Merry Christmas!