Life didn’t turning out how Lola hoped. She was adopted by an elderly couple but not long after she settled in, her mama died. Due to grief and having to take on more responsibility, anger and frustration ensued from her father. What Lola hoped for quickly waned. For the next several months, she endured brutality.
Then one day she was taken from her father. Life was not only frightening but uncertain too. Where was she going? What else would she have to endure? She quickly learned that people cannot be trusted. She found herself in a van travelling to who knows where. Her first home had green grass and warm sunshine but this new place had snow covering the ground and it was cold for springtime.
It didn’t matter that the brutality stopped since she left her father. Lola was scared, very scared. She was fed and bathed in a safe environment but the scars were so deeply ingrained that even when treated nicely, she cowered. After pictures were taken of her, she found herself in a home with two dogs and a man named Patrick.
Lola’s picture made it online for all to see. Her brown eyes attracted a couple that was searching to grow their family. They had lost their Daisy a few months earlier. That couple was Rob and I. After seeing Lola online, we inquired about her. We learned that she was at a foster home 10 miles south of us with Patrick.
Upon meeting this shy little girl, we loved her. We wanted her and we were able to make her ours. She was very unsure and leery. She was getting used to the love that Patrick offered her but that was only temporary. We adopted her and we moved her into her forever home.
She would hide by the side of the couch and peer at us, unsure. Her brown eyes so wide and scared looking. I knelt down and smiled at her, “Lola, this is your worst last day.” I reassured her that no one will hurt her ever again. She now belongs to a family that will love her just as she is.
This May it will be our four year anniversary of bringing her into our home. She has grown by leaps and bounds since then. She did not how to play with toys nor could anyone touch her paws. She warmed up to my daughter and I pretty quickly. Men were another story. Her first father did some damage. Today, she loves her new daddy! Her tail can’t wag hard enough and I can’t get the door open fast enough for her to run outside when Rob comes home. They share dinner together every night and she loves when we take her to McDonald’s for a pup cone.
I share this story with you for one reason. When we say yes to the Lover of our souls, we, too, have our last worst day on earth. Like Lola, we are met with love, acceptance and tender care by God. Jesus transforms our identity. We transfer residencies. We go from living in a hostile environment to a peaceful one. I call this world hostile because it is conditional, expecting, judgmental, cynical and toilsome. Even in the happiest of days, we are limited by time, ourselves and the opinions of others. There is a scripture, Psalm 84:10, that says, “A single day in your courts (walking in God’s Kingdom) is better than a thousand elsewhere!” Our earthly home has fleeting and short-lived joys; not so with God.
Lola can teach us about life. In this world there is trouble. Sin has destroyed everything. Hope gets deferred, situations waver, experiences and people scar us and beat us down, whether deliberate or not. Loneliness, confusion and fear keep us from being ourselves. We are encouraged to be ourselves but we are met with opinions, expectations and labels. Lola endured unfairness and cruelty. She learned quickly that life is not what is appears.
Then God stepped in. He sent His Son to show us the way, to show us what love is. We soon come to realize that love is a who and not a what. Love is Jesus. Jesus wants us and loves us unconditionally. He meets us right where we are and says, “This is your worst last day. Will you be mine?”
Jesus transcends us far beyond ourselves. Our address becomes heaven. This earth is like a campground. We set up tent for a short while and make do with what we have until God takes us to our forever home. While we wait, we are to learn all we can about His love and then share it with others.
At first, living in spiritually-alive bodies will seem foreign. We may want to cower by the couch and hide a bit. We will feel leery but don’t worry, God will take us by the hand and show us the way. Eventually, we will get used to being loved the way we are supposed to be loved and it is awesome!
Like Lola, we will change and grow and bloom where He has planted us. Lola has learned how to live free! We take her up north to our hunting land and she thinks she owns the place! She is now familiar with her surroundings and her people. She knows who she belongs to and that’s all that matters. God wants us to belong to Him. God is calling each of us to say yes and make today your last worst day. If Lola can learn to trust, so can we.