since The Wife and i adopted Frodo, i've been thinking about how our relationship with him can be an analogy of God's relationship with us.
we picked Frodo up from the streets, saving him from a life of scavenging as a mangy stray. God lifted us from the darkness of a life without hope, saving us from sin and death.
adopting Frodo means we sacrifice our time and money to buy his food, bring him to the vet for vaccinations and checkups, get a licence for him, spend time with him to play with him and to train him, and etc. for God, adopting us meant sacrificing Jesus on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins.
whenever we come home, Frodo is ecstatic to see us! he jumps all over us and licks us, and it makes me happy just to see him so happy. =) and so should we be happy for the privilege of being able to meet with our Creator, whether it's in our daily devotions or in our corporate worship with our church.
we took Frodo in hoping to give him a better life than he'd have had on the streets. just like Jesus came that we might have life, and that we might have it more abundantly.
[which reminds me, that's what ZMax Camp (29 Dec-2 Nov) is all about. the 'Z' in ZMax stands for zoe, a Greek word meaning 'life'. so, ZMax = Life to the Maximum! =)
this is a young teens' camp, meaning it's for 13-15 year-olds. it's evangelistic, so please pray that not only many kids will sign up (we're aiming for 30-40), but that they'll bring their non-Christian friends along so that we won't end up preaching to the choir. pray for us as we prepare - the camp is just a little more than a month away and there are many things to tie up. pray that campers will have a great, fun time at camp, and that they will be kept safe (we're planning an outing to a nearby waterfall mid-camp). pray also that Christians will gain a deeper understanding of the Truth of the Gospel and that those who aren't Christians yet will be able to understand and receive God's love which we want to show to them.
right, back to the topic...!=P]
every day we have to leave Frodo alone for an extended period of time, when we both go to work and also when we go to sleep at night (no, Frodo doesn't sleep with us. he sleeps outside). i'm sure, from his whining and soulful puppy-dog eyes, that he sometimes feels abandoned during these times. just as we sometimes feel abandoned by God, wondering why we can't feel His presence, can't see His hand working, can't understand why He's seemingly left us to suffer alone in the terrible silence of His absence.
the analogy breraks down a little here: when we leave Frodo, we really do leave him. but God doesn't, for He has promised to never leave us nor forsake us... we just feel that He's left us. but the suffering's real just the same.
sometimes we have to scold and beat Frodo; to train him not to bite people and things, and not to poop and pee everywhere. and often, i doubt he really understands why we're punishing him. he may be feeling quite confused: sometimes we seem so loving, yet at other times we seem so sadistic. in the same way, sometimes God has to discipline us and allow hardship into our lives, to train us to persevere after Him and to build us up to spiritual maturity. and often, we don't really understand why God does the things He does. we doubt His love for us and question Him.
but through all these things, we love Frodo; and most of the time, he loves us too (well, once he tried to bite me for putting him outside to sleep... he got into big trouble for that!). So too, through whatever life throws our way, God's love for us is a rock that never changes; even when our love for Him wavers like a vapour in the wind.
let's thank God for His goodness, faithfulness, and love towards us all. [and don't forget to pray for ZMax Camp, too!] =)