by James Collins
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
But I don’t want a dog,” I said. My wife persisted, “Well, I do. Besides, you are gone most of the time. A dog would be good company for me while you’re away.” Amanda reached down and picked up the little stray. As she hugged the dog she said, “He reminds me of Benji from TV.”
Benji was a famous, fluffy, black and tan mixed breed dog. He was marked like a Border Terrier and looked like he was a mix of Miniature Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, and Schnauzer. He first appeared on Television in the show Petticoat Junction. Amanda and I both watched him in a series of Benji movies that were popular when we were kids.
I looked at the dog that my wife was holding. He did look like Benji. I reached out and scratched his head. He wagged his tail and I swear he smiled at me. “Okay,” I said. “We will take the dog.” Amanda smiled and asked, “What do you want to call him?” I replied, “Let’s name him Scruffy.”
Scruffy was a stray. He showed up at Amanda’s parent’s house. They lived out in the country and it was not unusual for strays to show up. Growing up, Amanda took in many strays. She still has a heart for the wayward. Over the years, our home has taken in stray dogs, cats, chickens, and even an occasional homeless person.
I was a young man when Scruffy came to live with us. Amanda and I had only been married for a short time. It was in the years before our kids were born. My military career was taking off and I did travel often. It made me feel better knowing that Amanda had Scruffy to keep her company. Little did I know when Amanda picked Scruffy, he picked me.
Whenever I came home, Scruffy greeted me at the door. When I sat in my recliner, he sat in my lap. When I went to bed, he slept on the end by my feet. When I mowed, he rode on the mower with me. Everywhere I went, Scruffy followed.
Scruffy had absolutely no value, though he cost me $75.00 for his first visit to the veterinarian. He cost me more over the years for shots, licenses, food, treats, and toys.
Scruffy never earned a cent of income for our family…all he ever did was live with Amanda and I and share the early years of our married life.
My heart broke when Scruffy died. I felt like a fool for crying. Whoever heard of a grown man crying over the loss of a worthless stray?
Today, I was cleaning up and I found a picture of Scruffy. I cried again. I still miss him. I guess a little bit of our being in His image is revealed when we love something for no reason.
The point is: God loves you for no reason. There is nothing you can do that can make God love you. He just does.
God’s love for you is greater than all human understanding. God loves you so much that He broke into human history in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He loves you so much that Jesus shed His blood and died on an old rugged cross so that you could be saved. Whoever heard of God dying for a worthless sinner? But that’s exactly how much God loves you.
Since God loves you for no reason, isn’t it about time you love Him too?
James Collins is a pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net.