Classes in God’s Presence from a German Shepherd

German Shepherd - image courtesy of Marina Berzins McCoy

We just lately adopted a brand new canine, a German Shepherd round two years outdated. He’s a shelter canine and was beforehand in not less than two properties earlier than he landed in a shelter. From there, he went to a foster household for some time and at last has discovered his “without end house” with us. Our canine is a delight to us; he’s good, affectionate, and likes to play and snuggle. Nevertheless, he has appreciable separation anxiousness. For the primary week, he would comply with me into each room and wouldn’t dangle in his personal fenced-in yard with out my being in his sight.

Now, he’s adjusting. He nonetheless doesn’t like it once I depart quickly. He can whine and look out the window till another person at house will get him engaged in exercise. Nonetheless, he’s now rather more prepared to go nap in the lounge whereas I write on the pc within the close by house workplace or to smell round within the yard whereas I’m making dinner within the kitchen. We give him a number of play and train, loads of cuddles, and reward him with each treats and affectionate phrases in his coaching. We wish our canine to know that we’re right here for him and love him, whether or not he sees us or not.

As we human beings undergo life, we will undergo one thing akin to what my canine is studying, solely in relation to God. We hopefully come to know that God is ever-present, each in instances once we really feel God’s presence in a extra engaged manner and in instances when that feeling is much less current. I’ve had durations in my life when my prayer life was full of appreciable comfort, similar to in imaginatively praying an Ignatian contemplation. Then I’d really feel firsthand God’s love for me. Maybe it was God’s manner of giving me my very own “cuddles” and “treats,” in addition to to deliver me into relationship with Jesus.

At different instances in my prayer life, God’s presence is way quieter. It’s not that God is absent, however reasonably extra that I’ve a relaxed and unstated sense that God is current, all over the place. Typically I simply hang around with my canine, and we don’t work together, however we mutually know the opposite is there.

Can we have now separation anxiousness from God? I feel so! I can recall a time once I felt a troublesome dryness, when the consoling sense of God’s presence disappeared, and I questioned the place God had gone. Had I carried out one thing improper? What was taking place? I realized that I needed to depend on religion and love God and never simply the comfort. Very like my canine, who continues to study that once I go away I’ve not deserted him, my time of dryness serves as a coaching lesson in studying that God is greater than the consolations. God is all the time devoted and all the time there for us. However like my pup, we have now to study to roll with the adjustments, accepting that there are occasions when we have now a number of consolations, times of dryness, and instances of experiencing a permanent, silent presence of affection.

Maybe I may say that our canine, in a manner, is studying from my husband and me the constancy of affection: “You may be my individuals, and I can be your canine” (with due to Jeremiah 30:22).

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