1 I love the Lord because he hears and answers my prayers. 2 Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I have breath! (Psalm 116:1-2 NLT)
I’ve learned so much about the relationship between God and me from my dog Buddy. On a Friday morning in January 2003, Jean and I visited the local Humane Society and I saw a black and brown dog in a cage. I’m pretty sure I loved this dog from the moment I saw him, and Jean and I immediately made arrangements to adopt him. When we chose to adopt him, we rescued him from an unknown fate. When we chose him his life (and ours) was changed from that moment. When we chose him, we chose accept responsibility for him for as long as he lives.
I love Buddy because he’s my dog and I chose him. He loves me (affectionately, trustingly, dependently) because I feed him, provide for him, and care for him in ways he cannot even think or imagine in his little doggy brain. Buddy has no idea how much Jean and I actually do to care for him and provide for him. As long as there’s food in the dish and water in the bowl and a ride in the car and a run in the desert, he’s happy with his life! He’s happy to be my dog Buddy.
God loves me because he chose me. God chose me because of his mercy, compassion, kindness, and grace. Because he chose me, I’m his born-again, rescued, adopted child Jimmy. When he chose me, he accepted responsibility for me for as long as I live. My relationship with God is based on my dependency and his sufficiency. He cares for me and provides for me in ways I can only imagine. And I so quickly forget how much he does for me. There’s nothing like prayer to keep things in perspective. I pray because I have needs. I love him because he hears me and responds to my prayers.
God loves me because he chose me. He chose me because he loves me. He hears me because he is God. He answers because He is good. I’m happy to be his rescued, adopted son Jimmy!
Father, 12 What can I offer you for all you have done for me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation; I will praise Your name for saving me. 14 I will keep my promises to You in the presence of all Your people. (Psalm 116:12-14 NLT)