How Grace the Dog Learned to Trust
“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” John 13:23
Only God in His most magnificent mercy and grace, in His infinite and undying love, could have orchestrated this. I had plunked back down on the bed early one morning after waking initially at 4:30 am. I had prayed, praised the Lord, studied His Word, and figured I would now rest and meditate some on what was on my heart. Intimacy. Intimacy with God. And how, if the truth be told, and told it shall be, I was struggling with being immensely hungry for God’s presence and nearness, for His love and mercy, for His closeness, as close as He could possibly be to me, and me to Him, having once again found myself seeking from the world and the people in it what only He can give, unconditional, undeserved, forever love, faithful love, love that never dies, and the security found only in this love, only in Him. What was my struggle when God offers this to all those who repent, believe in Christ as Lord, and turn to Him and His ways? That still marred by childhood sexual abuse, some very deep down wound in me yet to be fully healed, spoke to my heart that I couldn’t afford to let God too near, or I could be sexually abused again. Those who have been sexually abused know the nature of this all, and its intensity, and how no matter how much it seems to be gone, it can rear itself up again as it had done. If I recall correctly the order of what transpired next, I was thinking of John the beloved who rested his head upon Jesus’ bosom.
I don’t normally lay in bed with a dog. That day I had. Almost immediately, Grace the dog, abandoned at a gas station where she was later hit by two cars on the same day and refused for 6 weeks to be rescued, who had not let me anywhere near her for days at a time after rescue, lay her head down gently on my breast. How had she grown to trust me? She had come to know me. She had watched me, studied me, learned of me, spent time with me, watched other dogs with me, pursued me at times, then run away, but always come back, until she realized she could stop running away, until the day came when she could lay her head upon my breast. Now she could enjoy intimacy with me. She could even lay her head right near my heart. Just as I wanted to lay my head on Jesus’ bosom – upon God’s heart. He who patiently waits for me to learn to come to Him – and remain. How? By watching Him, studying God’s Word, learning of Christ, spending time with God, watching others love and trust Him, pursuing Him, always returning if I step away, until I realize I can lay my heart, my head, my very life, on His bosom. Some versions say John was merely “reclining at the table.” I don’t know why. John lay on Jesus’ bosom. The place God desires us to be. Resting in Christ forever.