How much are you loved?

Laura can testify that this next sentence is absolutely, unequivocally true. Gus lives like a king in our house. When we first got him, we hadn’t yet brought Kiley into the world, so he was, and always will be, our first child. Therefore, we spoil him, love on him, and treat him like one of the family. He eats Blue Buffalo brand dog food to keep him fit and healthy. (Blue Buffalo is the one of only a few brands of food that doesn’t have corn or some other starch as the first and main ingredient. Science Diet, Eukanuba, Purina One, and all the other malarky will fatten your dog over time and isn’t as healthy as the marketing will lead you to believe.)

Gus has his own blanket on the couch so he can be comfy when sleeping up off the ground. He gets special treats for going pee-pee outside, to the point that when he finishes, he can’t wait to get back inside to get his treat. He gets walked almost every day I’m home, and has free reign over his kingdom: our quarter acre back yard. He has even taken to sleeping in our bed, something even Kiley won’t be able to do! Yes, he is treated well, indeed.

And yet. And yet he doesn’t realize how well he is treated because he doesn’t know any different. He’s never been mistreated or locked in a shelter, or abandoned on the side of the road to be gotten rid of. And even if he had been mistreated by previous owners, those thoughts would be long gone by now. When he is lazing on the couch in the sun watching me work on the computer, I think about how much I love him, how much we do to love on him, and how little he may appreciate it because he doesn’t know how good he really has it.

Kiley is in the same boat. She gets lots of attention, is fed by mom every few hours, gets her diaper changed whenever she is dirty, and gets her dose of acid-reflux medicine to help her stomach feel better. She gets dressed in cute clothes, gets her picture made, is swaddled when she is upset, and relaxes in a swing while she plays. She has loving parents who provide her with everything that she could ever need, like a roof over her head, climate control, a college fund, toys, hugs, kisses, and all the love she could ever want.

And yet. And yet she doesn’t realize how good she really has it. She’s too young to have the perspective needed to understand how blessed she is. Just the other day, as both Kiley and Gus were relaxing on the couch, I sat at my computer and looked at them, all comfy and content. I thought to myself how blessed they are and don’t even know it or appreciate it. Sometimes they act like they have troubles, but really, they don’t have a care in the world. “Must be nice” I muttered, as neither have to worry about making mortgage payments or tax filings. They don’t worry about awkward relationship issues or where their next job will be.

Gussie DogIt was then that this thought struck my like a load of bricks: I don’t have to worry about my life either! In the same way that Gus and Kiley have caring parents that watch over their every need, I have a heavenly father that does the same thing for me. If I love my children and want what’s best for them, how much more would God love and watch over me? Sometimes life gets too crazy for me to handle, but that is when I can lean on God to help carry me through my troubles.

So maybe I shouldn’t be too incredulous at the thought that Gus and Kiley have it easy. Why? Because in the gracious hands of Jesus, I can relax knowing that he is there blessing me, going before me, and looking for me to rely on him. I would do well to remember that I have it pretty good. I need to appreciate the love I get from above and never take my blessings for granted. My love for our doggie and daughter are great reminders of how I am loved by my father above.

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