Enjoy this encouraging article by guest poster Shannon Wilpitz!
I was a new wife, living in a new condo, raising a new little gray and white Shih Tzu puppy. This was my first attempt at creating my own home and my first attempt at parenting (yes, I’m one of those kind of dog lovers). However, it wasn’t going so well. For the life of me, I could not potty train my puppy.
My precious little SugarBear was exhausting me with all his unwelcomed surprises, and he was ruining our newly-purchased furniture.
This couldn’t be normal, right?
I sought advice from online forums, our vet, and my friends. The consensus was that we needed to crate train him because “dogs won’t do their business where they eat.” Sounded good. Made sense. So the next day, we put SugarBear in a small crate with his food, a blanket, and a toy.
Instead of coming home to a miraculously potty trained dog, I came home to a mess.
Apparently, no one had informed SugarBear of the same doggie etiquette my vet and all my friends knew of!
I picked him up and carried him to the bathtub where he received a thorough scrubbing.
At this point, many people might have called it quits and given up on this dog. He was stubborn and difficult to train. He made messes that I had to clean up. And he ruined things that I had to pay to replace.
So why was he allowed to remain in our house? Why did I still want him? And why was he cared for far beyond what he deserved?
I loved him.
It’s really that simple.
SugarBear was my baby! I might not have liked his stinky messes. But I loved him!
To me, he was worth helping out of his mess, worth cleaning up, worth my time to train. When you love something, especially your child, you love it even when it’s a mess. That’s how I believe Jesus loves me. That’s how I believe Jesus loves you. We’re His children!
We’ve all made messes.
We’ve all made choices that have been real stinkers.
We’ve all struggled with disobedience.
We’ve all ruined things we couldn’t repair on our own.
In spite of it all, Jesus still loved us! And He loved us too much to leave us the way He found us.
To God, we are worth helping out of our messes, worth cleaning up, and worth teaching. Only, He doesn’t wash us with soap and water; He cleanses us with His blood. He extends mercy for mistakes and gives grace for guidance. And He paid the ultimate price to restore that which was ruined.
If you feel like you’ve made too big a mess, made too wrong a choice, been too disobedient, or ruined something beyond repair, just remember that a human’s love for a dog is nothing compared to a human’s love for a child. Infinitely greater still is our Heavenly Father’s love for us.
There’s nothing He cannot or will not do for His children. So when you’re tempted to give up on Him, remember that He won’t give up on you. Why?
Jesus loves you.
It’s really that simple.
“FOR I AM PERSUADED, THAT NEITHER DEATH, NOR LIFE, NOR ANGELS, NOR PRINCIPALITIES, NOR POWERS, NOR THINGS PRESENT, NOR THINGS TO COME, NOR HEIGHT, NOR DEPTH, NOR ANY OTHER CREATURE, SHALL BE ABLE TO SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD, WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD” (ROMANS 8:38-39).
Shannon Wilpitz lives in Houston, TX where she works remotely for Pentecostal Publishing House as a field editor for Word Aflame Curriculum and homeschools her 12-year-old boy-and-girl twins, Ridge and Chayden. Children’s ministry is her passion. Disney World is her favorite vacation destination. And rescue dogs are her weakness. She believes God must truly love her because he sent her a husband, Chad, who shares her love for kids, Mickey, and furbabies.