Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I Just Couldn't Help It!

The other night, we had the first dog fight in a long time. Remember a few blogs ago when I told you that Foxy only has to be wearing her shock collar and she behaves? I lied. Well, I didn't exactly lie. It was true at the time. But I'm thinking that while I'm gone all day, Foxy is on my computer reading my blogs. I can just see her expression when she read that blog. A look of shock may have crossed her muzzle, her eyes popped out, and she might have thought, "I've been duped! Those humans. I knew they were not to be trusted. They're playing with my head! Well, I'll show them!"

And show us she did. She was acting just a tad funky all night. Almost too good. But at the same time, she had a constant eye on what Lucy was doing, where she was laying, when she was going in and out. And Brian and I had relaxed to the point of not even having the remote control in the room with us. So, imagine my surprise when I was...uh...indisposed...and I heard barking, dual growling and general sounds of gnashing of teeth... and then Brian's booming voice saying, "HEEEEEEEEEYYYYYY! CUT IT OUT!"  They stopped rather quickly, due to Brian's quick thinking of throwing a blanket in between them, like a matador waving a flag before the bull. Since I was...indisposed...I was of no use.
The Calm Before the Storm

When I came back into the kitchen, poor Lucy came running up to me, clearly upset and shaking. She's not a fighter, but any dog, when provoked and attacked, will defend herself. She hates these confrontations, and it takes awhile for her to calm down. I managed to calm her down, and that's when I saw Foxy standing in the doorway. I was so angry with her, but the look on her face, her body language---it was so submissive, so repentant! Her head was hung, her eyes looking up and she just stood there waiting for my response to her inappropriate action. I said, "You are BAD! VERY BAD! Come over here!" 

If she had hung her head any lower, she would have been crawling on the floor to me. She walked over very slowly, and growled a low growl, which is really her way of "talking." In her way, I believe she was saying, "I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. I know it was wrong. I don't know what came over me. I just...I don't know, I just lost control. I couldn't seem to help myself." 

I couldn't be mad at her. She knew what she'd done and she knew it was wrong. And I believe she really wanted my approval and forgiveness. I'm telling you, this dog is deep. She is also a herding dog, and much of her "stalking" tendencies, her "attacks" on Lucy, I believe, are instinct. You can't fault a dog for following their instincts.

How do we react to our own sin? When we've lost control in a fit of anger, when we've gone after someone who really didn't deserve it, when we just couldn't help ourselves and gave in to that lust---that chocolate bar, that ice cream cone, that Big Mac, that racy romance novel, that movie with nude scenes and filthy language, that Coach Bag that we can't afford...do we feel cheap and dirty afterwards? Do we justify it? Blame someone else? Do we try to just forget it happened? Perhaps we can't just forget because there are consequences to our sin. We may have hurt other people in the process. We may have to pay off that credit card. We may have to clean out the pictures in our mind. 

Or do we come to the Father, through the love of Jesus and say, "I'm sorry, Father. I'm really, really sorry. I know it was wrong. I don't know what came over me. I just...I don't know, I just lost control. I couldn't seem to help myself." He is a loving a merciful Father. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). 

If we choose that route, God, our Father will not only forgive us, but I picture Him extending his hand for us to look beside us---there, we will see Jesus, right next to us. He's been there the whole time. He's held our hand on the way to the Father to forgive our sins. He's the One who spoke to the Father on our behalf. And He's the One who will return with us. Always by our side. Always ready to intervene when we feel like we're losing control. All we need to do is say, "Jesus!" and there He is. 

Foxy waited for me to call her over. She wanted desperately to be forgiven. I had to make the choice---would I stay angry at her and send her away, or would I call her to me and forgive her? Our Father never needs to make that choice. He assures us that if we come to Him and confess, He forgives. He doesn't wait and then decide. The Lord is gracious and full of compassion; slow to anger and great in mercy (Ps 145:8).

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day (Just a little fun!)
I'm Sorry (Brenda Lee)

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