Are You Running from God’s Rescue?

Are you running from God’s rescue? I can’t help but think of this as I ponder yet another lesson in faith I am learning as I continue my attempts at rescuing an injured dog. Grace, who was abandoned at a gas station with another dog in rural Georgia about six months ago, was hit by two different cars about two months ago. She was left unable to walk on all four legs, and spends most of her time walking and running on three. Running? Yes. She doesn’t usually run for exercise. She runs to get away from the people trying to rescue her. Considering how much time I have spent trying to rescue her, I can’t help thinking about my own rescue. And, I cannot help but think of God’s rescue of an injured world. How many of us have spent years running from the very one trying to rescue us, and how many of us still are?

When I look into the eyes of Grace, I see a dog who wants to be loved. I see a dog who wants to be fed. I see a dog who wants attention. I see a dog who wants to play. And I see a dog who wants to be rescued. But because she will not place her trust in the one trying to rescue her, she flirts with being rescued but always ends up running away.

Not only have I tried to rescue her for weeks upon weeks, using all sorts of methods, but others have tried to rescue her also. All to no avail. She will eat out of my hand, but she runs as soon as I reach out to grab her. When I sedated her through her food, she got up and ran. With the vet’s advice, I gave her enough sedative for a 185 pound dog. She weighs about 40 pounds. When I approached her as she lay sedated, she got up and ran. I tried to trap her. She would not go in the trap. Oh, I have tried and tried. I want to help her. Really, I do. And I know she wants to be helped. But still, she holds back her trust.

When I look into my own heart, I understand. I was the same way. Sometimes, I still am. But not much of the time anymore. Not much at all anymore. I used to want to trust God. I sensed He wanted something good for me. Something better. But I had been hurt too much by the world to place my trust in Him. I had mixed up the world with God. I figured He would hurt me the way the world had. Who wouldn’t hurt me? I didn’t know God. Oh, I called out to Him. I flirted with Him. I came up to His hand to eat out of it, just like Grace. I even reached out to receive His grace and mercy. But just like Grace the dog, I got up and ran. I would not stay still long enough to let Him rescue me. I would just accept His provisions, some of them anyway, and then dart away.

I am quite certain God saw the same look in my eyes. Hunger. Longing. Needing to be fed. Wanting to be loved. Wanting to trust. Wanting to be rescued. Wanting a different life. A better life. A better life than I could possibly create for myself. But was it worth the cost? Was it worth putting a stop to my running, turning the other way, and learning to chase after God? Absolutely yes.

I have placed my trust in Him. He is my everything. Least of all, He is my provider of my physical needs. Most of all, He is my provider of His everlasting love, grace, peace, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness. He is the provider of everything I need.

Now when I see Him reaching out His heart and arms to me, I know I do not need to run away. Grace runs into the woods where she believes I will not see her. Usually, I find her. God always knows where we run. He always knew where I ran. Now He knows I know too much. I know He is too good for me to turn away. He is too awesome for me to run away from. He is too almighty for me to look elsewhere to put my trust.

My faith walk is not flawless. There are times I run. But the distance is shorter. And I come around more quickly. But I know how to get off the ground where I have fallen when I have run away. I know how to repent. I know how to come back to Him. I know how to rest at His feet. I know there is no greater person in whom to trust than Him.

One day, I believe, I will rescue Grace. God will show me how. In the meantime, I continue to learn to accept His grace. His love. His love that lasts forever – and never fails.

Please, precious Lord, fill me up with your Holy Spirit once again that I may be fully equipped to be used by you as you rescue a world in need. Use me to help rescue those who are broken, lost, forgotten, abandoned, neglected, abused, and running. Help the world to stop running, Lord. Forgive us for running. Forgive us for not trusting you. Help us to trust you. I love you forever, dear Lord, and I pray you will use me to show the world that you want to rescue us. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

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