Lenten Devotional, March 20: By Jan Barkley

Published March 20, 2020 by SMBC

By Jan Barkley

Back in 2005, we had lost our wonderful old Golden Retriever, and after a few months, we began looking for the next dog to adopt into our home. Jim and I have a soft spot for ?recycled? dogs so we went to Golden Retriever Rescue of Houston for help. They sent us to one of their meet and greets to check out the dogs available for adoption, and on a Saturday morning we drove out to Spring to take a look. Amid the group of lively, beautiful Goldens was a scrawny, shy, part-mutt named Kelsey who had recently had a litter of puppies. It was clear that she had a past, and not a good one - starvation, neglect, unscrupulous breeding. But none of that mattered to Kelsey. When we eventually took her home, it was like she wiped the slate clean and forgave every human for what had happened to her before and leaned into the love of our family. Despite her rough start in life, she lived every day with an enviable joy.

Dogs do an amazing job of living in the present. They move on quickly from the past. They aren't anxious about what will happen next. They live completely in the grace of the moment. What a wonderful example they can be to us and to show us what's possible if we live completely in God's grace of forgiveness. God's forgiveness lets us embrace the present - to accept and live into the opportunities that God places before us. God's forgiveness assures us that He will move us beyond our prior failures and quiet our doubts that we have what it takes to move forward. It is through God's forgiveness that we can live with joy.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 3:13b-14