Early in our marriage, we lived in a community chock-full of dairy farms.
During a visit to one of those farms, six stray, mangy dogs rushed my car, barking. They were friendly but very much farm dogs.
After my visit, as I was saying goodbye to the family and getting into my car, I looked down and noticed that one of the dogs was looking straight back at me. I could tell from his sickly disposition that he just wanted to get out of there.
The dog had these huge blood ticks all over his body and was missing hair from where fleas and other parasites had eaten it away.
I looked back at the family and asked, “Do you want this dog?” They laughed and responded, “We have plenty of dogs. Feel free to take him!”
I loaded that dog into my car, knowing my wife was not going to be thrilled at all about this decision. I stopped by the store on my way home and picked up some flea and tick shampoo, determined that we were going to keep that dog.
Sure enough, my wife lived up to my expectations. When I walked through the front door to our house, she looked at me and said, “Steve, what were you thinking?” I assured her that she didn’t have a thing to worry about; the dog was my responsibility and I was going to take care of him completely.
I adopted that dog, gave him a good bath, and removed each and every one of those ticks. And as time went on, we started to notice something interesting about the dog. If my wife would go to the kitchen, the dog would hardly move. But if I went to the kitchen, he was right there with me. If I crossed my legs, his head would jet up. He was 100% loyal and faithful to me.
And why? Because I saved him! Because I showed him how much I loved and cared for him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
Just like I adopted that sick dog and restored him to health, Christ Jesus restores us when we put our faith in Him and believe that He heals.
How do I know? There’s a deep and manifesting appreciation for the grace and mercy that God extended to me and for the transformation of the Gospel in my life. I have compassion for those still in desperate need of transformation. And my love and appreciation for what God has done in my life stirs my heart toward obedience to Him.
Is your heart acknowledging all that God has done for you? That He’s pulled you out of the pit of sin and death because His love for you is incomprehensible? Take a moment today to praise Jesus for His restoring nature.
Steve and Debbie Steve Wilson are the founders of Marriage Matters Now and minister to couples all across the country. Catch them at a Festivals of Marriage simulcast from the comfort of your own living room, along with relationship experts Gary Chapman, Mark Merrill, and more!