God uses everything in life to teach those who want to learn. And I learn a lot about God from our dog.
Rose was bred for hunting—and spelling. She can spell the word W-A-L-K faster than any other. (It takes her longer to process C-O-M-E for some strange reason). Anyway, when we spell W-A-L-K, every cell in her body starts dancing and her tail becomes a dangerous whip. Her specialty is birds but she loves to chase deer, drag home random body parts, and dig for black, beady-eyed shrews. Lovely, isn’t it? She’s such—an—an—ANIMAL!
Today, she had a hankering for shrews, those ugly little mouse-like creatures that aren’t even as cute mice. Out she ran, over the fields and frozen ponds of our farm, pausing now and then when the scent of something shrew-like wafted its way to her nose. And then the digging began. She dug deep and was satisfied.
I have sought God a lot out of desperation. Desperate for comfort when this earthly life offered too little—desperate for answers to problems looming large—desperate for guidance when paths were obscured. Desperation drove me to God. Still does. I still don’t like feeling desperate, but I love seeking and finding God.
Many in the world mock Christians, saying we use God as a crutch—that we’re weak. But Jesus said the poor in spirit are blessed. Why? Because the poor know their need for God. And so we seek. When we reach the spot in life where we realize we’re broken beyond our ability to cope on our own—when we realize how poor and needy we are—we’re ready to seek God. That’s why He allows brokenness—for the greater good of knowing Him who heals us whole.
Brokenness is not something shameful. Brokenness is blessed because it ushers us into the presence of our God, our heart’s true desire whether we know it yet or not. If we seek and dig with abandon, we will be satisfied in the depths of our souls. God promises.
And once we come into the presence of our awesome God, how can we not want more? Who can catch a glimpse of His beauty beyond description and not want more?
When we seek—when we dig deep—we will be satisfied in a way not offered by people or things of this world. Peace and joy are not elusive mysteries in life. Peace and joy are found by all who seek God, dig deep in His word, and walk in His ways. The seeking and digging and walking take effort but when you want something or someone badly enough, no effort seems too much.
Look at Rose! Heart pounding, legs working, nose sniffing—all these efforts she loves because of what she seeks and knows she will find. If we tire of seeking and digging, could it be that we just don’t realize the buried treasure waiting for us? Could it be we don’t realize our truest treasure is found in God our Maker? Could it be that this world blinds us to the source of true love and true peace and true joy so much that we settle for counterfeit gods?
The answer to all is a simple and sad yes.
I know. When life is going along without much disruption, I can get lazy about seeking and digging for treasure. When I’m enjoying my family and friends, I can get forgetful about the most beautiful relationship of all. When I’m drawn to the tangibles in life that I love, I can stop seeking the One I can’t see with my eyes. But soon and always, my soul starts withering. Soon and always, I realize how I’ve veered from the Way—from the Truth—from the Life.
But over the years, by the grace of God, I’ve come to realize that staying with Him gives far more joy than running about the fields of life looking for one more ugly shrew offering empty promise of pleasure. When I stay in one spot, I can dig deep in the soil of satisfaction. And the more I dig for treasure, the more treasure I find. Treasure never ends because God never ends. The more goodness we find, the more goodness there is to find. God is a bottomless well of wonder.
So I’m staying put today and digging deep. Here are some treasures I’ve found and am excited to share:
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. (Want to be worry free and radiantly beautiful?) Psalm 34:4
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. (Want to rejoice wildly? Want strength?) Psalm 105:3-4
Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart. (Want to be blessed?) Psalm 119:2
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Want release from what’s got your heart bound up?) Jeremiah 29:13-14
Jesus said, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34 (Want everything you need including peace of mind?)
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6 (Want to be rewarded?)
Ready for a treasure hunt?
Can you spell G-O-D?
Photographs courtesy of Anna Johnson