What My Poodles Taught Me About Faith

IMG_3148I knew my backyard neighbor was outside when I heard our two standard poodles barking at the hedge. Barking is part of their watchdog DNA. But barking at neighbors is rude.

I called Max and Cosette to quiet them. Cosette threw back her head and pranced toward me, tail wagging. Max, who is older and knows he’s not supposed to bark at the neighbor, turned to dart away until he saw Cosette running to me. He hesitated, then joined her.

I praised them both for coming, and we happily went inside—away from temptation.

Their different initial reactions to my call made me consider how I respond to God. Do I turn away because:

  • I’ve been caught in something I know I shouldn’t be doing?
  • I think He’s angry with me?
  • I’m afraid He’s taking away my freedom and fun?

Or do I run to Him because:

  • I know He loves and accepts me?
  • I know He’ll protect me, even from myself?

Have you ever avoided God when you knew you’d messed up? The urge to hide when we fall began with Adam and Eve. But just as they couldn’t hide, neither can we, nor should we.

IMG_3136“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account,” (Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV)

If we believe God accepts us based on how well we perform, we’ll avoid Him when we fall. That is the opposite of what we need.

If we believe God accepts us based on how well we perform, we'll avoid Him when we fall. Click To Tweet

Please read the next verses carefully.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NIV)

Unbelievable! We blow it, and God says, “Come to me with confidence knowing I’ll graciously receive you and help you.” In fact, the little word “therefore” reminds us this is our only sensible choice. We can’t hide; we have no excuse; we’re not even close to perfect. Therefore, relying on our High Priest is our only reasonable option.

My poodle, Max, started to bolt when I caught him disobeying, but he chose to trust me and confidently came near instead. We humans, who make excuses, hide, and deny our guilt, can learn to trust our Master too. Take hold of your faith and remember, God accepts us based on Christ’s perfect work.

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Debbie Wilson

Deborah W. Wilson


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  1. Diane Allen

    Love this Debbie. It is a great object lesson.

  2. Sunny

    First time commenter “…firmly grab my faith and go to God with confidence”. Appreciated your comments this morning. I have tears in my eyes. It’s too bad we make things so complicated when our heavenly father is waiting and ready to accept us right where we are. Lord increase my faith! Sunny

    • Debbie

      Sunny, thanks for taking the time to comment. You’re so right, our heavenly Father always welcomes us. Our faith grows as we act on it. God bless.

  3. Marilyn Couch

    They are the cutest dogs!! Maybe your next book should be on the
    Lessons learned from my Poodle Puppies! Thanks for encouraging
    us to run to The Lord.

    • Debbie

      They certainly entertain me! I should record what I learn from them. I think the biggest lesson is I still love them even when they come to the door covered in mud. But I don’t like the mud.

  4. Pat Haley

    No doubt about your voice in this one! I was just wondering this morning how Cosette was doing. Precious pictures. Great Counsel.

    • Debbie

      Thanks, Pat.

  5. Kristy

    I love analogies so I loved this, thanks for the reminder of this truth! It also reminded me of how our walk with the Lord can have an impact on others, as Max initially turned away but saw Coco coming to you and followed suit!
    PS Love that first pic of Coco and Max!

    • Debbie

      Kristy, I like your application. Our faith can encourage others.

  6. Tracey Horton

    You had to know I would love this one and have a comment. Your dogs are cutiful! Yes I know that word is not in the dictionary. Great pictures, wish mine were still long enough to get a good picture. I think that has something to do with their masters ability to train them. Great analogy, I was late in reading this email, but God knew what day I would need it. Have a great day, and thanks for your words.

    • Debbie

      Tracey, that’s why I didn’t use a more updated photo. Most have too much movement. Cosette is six months now. Every time I get the camera and say her name to look at me, she jumps up to run to me. I guess I need to say “Look at me.”

  7. Diane Lee

    Wonderful analogy! “Departure from the ways of evil is the beginning of undestanding. The love (fear) of God is the beginning of wisdom. The sacred heart of Jesus is always with me.”

    And the poodles are so adorable!

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