Have you ever noticed how God ‘speaks’ to you in some of the oddest ways, in my case recently, with lizards? It happened again the very day I sent the last post. That afternoon I was walking our dog, Charlie, and dozens of the very young lizards skittered off the sidewalk as we walked along. I noticed one in particular -about one and a half inches long – as he ran off the sidewalk right to an area a few inches from where Charlie busied himself sniffing for the perfect spot to, well, you know. With blatant personification at work, I marveled as the poor lizard clung to a blade of grass, completely still except for breathing hard as he prayed that the large creature near him, and the even larger one behind that one would simply not see him.
How often in my years wandering from Jesus did I, in my sinfulness or weakness, behave like that lizard and pray to go unnoticed by God? How I hoped he would not notice when I simply lacked the commitment or courage or strength to be faithful to him. How often I likened him to the big bad creature who would destroy me unless I remained unseen as I did what I wanted in my life. The difference between the lizard and we humans, though, strikes to the core of who we are and what we believe about God. Charlie doesn’t love lizards like God loves you and me. Unlike my dog, who likes to pounce on lizards, God pours out his grace on us even when we don’t notice. And while the dog might eat the lizard, God seeks to bless us through a relationship with Jesus and God’s very presence with us in the Holy Spirit. God is not some predator waiting to tear us apart but rather he’s ready and waiting for us, both when we are faithful and maybe most especially when we aren’t.