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Rub My Belly

Updated: Nov 7, 2018

My dog is a chocolate lab mix with the sweetest disposition. She loves to play; she loves to fetch, to run, to snuggle. She is a great dog. As we left the shelter we immediately named her Sugar. It just seemed the perfect name for her. In short, we love our dog.

Our house has hard flooring throughout the main level. When she gets playful, Sugar slips and slides across the floor with joy as she runs to play with you, her feet spinning because her nails can’t get a good grip. When I come home from work—or even leave the house for five minutes—she races to the door to meet me, tail wagging, as though I had given her complete joy and fulfillment. She follows me almost everywhere I go. She comes when I call (most of the time). Sugar is a great dog.

Many trainers say the you should bend down and approach backwards when you first meet a dog, as it shows that you are not a threat. I have done that with aggressive dogs, but never with Sugar. With her gentle demeanor she even allows our kids to pull and tug on her, to sit on top of her and ride her like a horse. Although we are continually telling them to be gentle, Sugar is patient. You can see the love in her eyes. She loves people.

This morning when I was playing with her she rolled over onto her back (as she often does) as though to say, “Please, will you rub my belly.” As I reached to pet her a thought came to my mind. When a dog does that, they are telling you, “I am vulnerable. I am completely open and trusting you. You could hurt me right now if you wanted to. But I am trusting you.”

My pastor mind kicked into gear. There was a lesson here, even if it was a lesson from a dog. Then it came to me. As Sugar was being completely trusting and vulnerable to me, so we should be with God.

Yes, our tendency is to close ourselves off, to stay in a position of defense. Often this is because we have been hurt in the past. We don’t know who to trust.

But with God, things are different. We can be open and exposed before God. We can trust that He will not hurt us.

The Book of John gives us some understanding as to why. In chapter 14, verse 18, Jesus says, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” He goes on to say, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends,” John 15:13.

Jesus came and surrendered His life for us. His love for us was so great that He gave us His surrender. Will you surrender all to Him? Jesus would do anything to be with us; in fact He did. He died…for you. If you will give your life completely to Him, if you will let Him rule your time, and your choices, if you will be vulnerable and open your heart to Him, He will never hurt you. He promises to provide for you in greater ways than you can imagine. And God always keeps His promises.

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