“For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” – Hebrews 12:6

Annie had suffered a weak moment! In fact, she had several weak moments that morning!

Our dog, Annie, is a one-year-old golden retriever. She is beautiful, big, and loveable, but she also has a mischievous side that is as big as she is, and on one particular morning, it came out in a huge way.

Annie had spent the night outside in the backyard—I no longer bother to put her in the dog run because she has learned how to jump the low chain-link fence. The first hint of her poor behavior came early, when my husband heard paddling noises coming from Annie’s water tub that I leave out on hot days. Later, what a sight I beheld! When I looked out the sliding door in the dining room, there were broken branches from our two willow bushes and clumps of grass lying around, all the work of our lovable pet. Apparently playing in her water tub was not all that had been going on! I was not pleased with her actions, so Annie had a “time-out” in the garage.

Some days, Annie seems to act like she is still a puppy. Yet, even on the days when she has a “moment of weakness,” I remember that she is still learning, so I just correct her and expect her behavior to improve. There are also times when I look at her and see a wonderful, loving companion, and I hope this is what she will become as she gets older and more mature.

As I have watched Annie grow, I have wondered if God has some of these same thoughts when He looks at us. When we were newly saved, we demanded a lot of attention from Him, and without His constant supervision, we easily could have found ourselves in a big mess. Some of our actions make Him smile and others may cause Him to shake His head, but He patiently teaches and corrects us as long as we are willing to learn. And I suspect that He, too, sees something special in us and hopes that as we grow spiritually, we will become wonderful, loving companions.

The learning process may seem slow at times, but that is no reason to be discouraged. He is more patient and loving than we realize, and even when He must correct us, He does it in love.

Lord, I am Your child. Take my hand and keep me from harm and temptation. Help me to grow each day so that I will become all that You want me to be. Amen.

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