Lessons from a puppy
Meet Pax…the new German Shorthaired Pointer of my daughter and grandson in Great Barrington, MA. They got him at six weeks old, and he has just celebrated his six-month birthday (with plenty of growing ahead). This hunting breed is prized for being incredibly intelligent, loyal to his family, and willing to please. After taking weeks to decide on his name—they originally considered Gunter and other German monikers—they landed on Pax, which means ‘peace’ or the ‘kiss of peace’ in Latin. Since he moved in, they have witnessed his energy and enthusiasm. Pax has grown into a handsome dog and is becoming a great companion.
Everything seems so perfect, and for the most part, it is. So, why is my daughter investing a lot of money to install a fence? They have a large lot (nearly an acre) on a fairly busy street. Pointers are among the most high–energy breeds. Thus, a fence has become necessary for his protection and his need for exercise. Also, there are lots of wildlife around (even bears) that come onto their property which is very attractive game to chase by this sharp Pointer.
As I was thinking about Pax, my mind drifted to a life lesson. Aren’t we, in a way, like Pax? Our name may say one thing, but we are prone to chase, open ourselves up to danger. The world and all its trappings are attractive to us, but can bring dangerous consequences by pursuing them. We, like him, need boundaries. Discipline comes to mind. They are training Pax to bring obedience and discipline into his life, for him, as well as for them, and others he encounters.
Security and obedience to God
We need discipline in most areas of our lives. I find it very interesting when God called a ‘people’ to himself, they were without any written law. When you examine the Ten Commandments and various other laws for them, it reflects the fact that they needed boundaries for their own security and obedience to God. They were operating in the flesh and inherent natural laws. I am sure individualism was the primary rule of order. He who was the strongest or had the most assets ruled, and not in so kind ways.
Just like Pax needs boundaries, we do also. For the Believer, you have God’s word and the Spirit to teach and disciple you. His word puts boundaries or restrictions on you for your own good, and the good of the society in which you live. Worship is a discipline, so is prayer. All of us are sinners, prone to wander. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way” (Isa. 53.6a). God loves his own, he wants the very best for them. His word is a “lamp to your feet and a light to your path”. God the Father does not want his children to stumble and fall.
God the Spirit is your teacher, your comforter, your very present help in trouble. The Spirit, through his word, counsels, instructs and builds a fence, a hedge of protection, around you, keeping you from harm’s way. And God the Son has made everything possible for you to live, even victoriously. But the Father had to discipline his Son in our place on the cross, or else all the laws would have been fruitless. “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed… The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53.5-6).
Jesus is our peace
Pax’ name means peace, Jesus is our peace. Peace with God, peace with ourselves and with each other. It came at a heavy price. Grace, indescribable grace! Open the gate to your fence, step out and tell someone about Jesus today.
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