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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Zwanziger

Puppy Love

How God loves us unconditionally

As some of you know, the inspiration behind The Paralyzed Movement was my husband Todd’s miraculous recovery from being fully paralyzed on the right side of his body (see the Inspiration page for the story if you haven’t). Todd spent a total of 6 weeks in the hospital recovering. Despite the horrific tragedy, it was during the first 2 weeks of his stay that some of the most entertaining things happened.

The entertainment? Todd on some kind of high power pain concoction.

It took us a few days to realize that he was hallucinating. He wasn’t really verbalizing all the things that he was seeing. He was just enjoying his time in his new favorite place…Puppy Land. That’s right, Todd was hallucinating about puppies.

According to the nurses on staff, he was considerably lucky. Most people hallucinate about demons, clowns and other terrifying creatures. But nope, not Todd. He was lucky. He had puppies filling his life. They were barking at him from the corner of the room. They were trying to come out of the light sockets to get to him. Puppies were everywhere. It was this conversation that raised the red flag for us:

Todd: “Honey, do you see my puppies?”

Me: “No honey, what puppies.”

Todd: “The puppies snuggling up against my legs.”

Me: I looked down at his blood pressure cuffs squeezing his legs and concerningly played along, “Yes honey, they are cute.” Exit room…immediate discussion with nurse.

You would think that weening him off the drugs would have ended the obsession with puppies. But it didn’t. Todd couldn’t stop talking about wanting a puppy the entire time he was in the hospital. And beyond the hospital as well. Eventually Ms. Stella May entered our lives to appease the puppy obsession and she has filled the puppy happiness more than we could have ever imagined.

So today, as I was staring at Ms. Stella May, I began thinking about the reason that we obsess about puppies. What makes them so stinking special?

It’s their unconditional love!

Puppies, as adorable as they may be, eventually turn into dogs, who may not be as adorable. But our love for them does not diminish. Why? Because they love us unconditionally. We can always count on our puppies to wiggle their butts and lather us with love. Regardless of how we treat them! We can spank their bottoms for peeing on the floor, forget to feed them, accidentally step on them or scream at them for deciding that the dinner from last night that you trashed needed to be in their belly. You name it. Whatever we can do wrong, our puppies love us just the same.

Who else loves us this much?

God of course!

The love we get from God is unconditional! Regardless of what we do! We can lie, cheat, steal, swear, gossip, and sin in big and bad ways, but God will love us just the same. Don’t get me wrong, God still expects us to accept Him as our Lord and Savior and ask for His forgiveness for our sins in order for us to be with Him eternally in heaven.

But know this.

No matter what point we are at with our faith, God still loves us. He loves us before we sin, while we sin, and after we sin. He loves us before we know Him, while we get to know Him and after we accept Him. His love is simply unconditional. If he was a puppy, he would have a wiggle butt for us all day long.

This unconditional love is one of the greatest truths we could have ever received from the Word of God.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Imagine the amount of love that you would have to have for someone to sacrifice your very own son. I can’t begin to fathom this. It is incomprehensible. But this is what God did for us. For this world. For us sinners. Because God SO LOVED us. That is a love that I think we simply cannot ignore.

But you know what?

We do. We do ignore it. Just like our puppies could wiggle their butts at us all day long, we eventually stop paying attention. Why? Because our lives get in the way. Our sin gets in the way. Our schedules get in the way. Our priorities get in the way. Suddenly, we can become so indulged in our day to day lives that we lose sight of this tremendous, unconditional love that God has for us. We run out of time to reciprocate it. We lose sight of it. And then we find ourselves in these situations where we know our lives are out of whack. We feel something missing and we yearn for something more. That something more is God’s love.

God’s love.

It’s always there.

Time and time again we will drift and when we come back it will be there. Because God is so, so good to us.

As our faith grows, we will get better at being in the presence of His love. We will never be perfect at it, but we will get better. This should be our mission in our lives. Our DAILY mission…TO SEE GOD’S LOVE.

Can I get an AMEN?

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