Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you. (James 4:8 NLT)

 Friends told me this story of a rescued dog. The dog’s owners decided to use crate training to housebreak their young puppy. Crate training encourages the puppy to wait to potty until they’re taken outside. Puppies won’t potty where they sleep, so crate training teaches them to wait.

Unfortunately, the owners missed the point.  They brought their puppy home and, as expected, the puppy soon had an accident.  His owners punished him by putting him in the kennel.  With each accident, they punished him by keeping him the cage for longer periods.  Naturally, the dog would have another accident and the cycle continued.

Eventually, the dog was kenneled for several days at a time without food or water.  The owners didn’t understand why the dog had turned angry and mean.

Dogs are great pets when they are loved and nurtured. The more time we spend with them the stronger the bond becomes.  As with pets, the key to any relationship is the time, attention and effort given. 

What about your relationship with God? Do you treat Him in a way that we wouldn’t treat a dog?  Is He taken from the cage on Sundays for a few hours only to be kenneled again until the next Sunday? We may even have good intentions but… life seems to always get in the way of good intentions.

I know that happens to me more often than I care to admit. I have good intentions to spend time with God but life happens.  Before I know it, I begin to lose my patience, joy, and peace.  That’s when I know it’s time to draw near to God and He’s always there waiting. 

Don’t cheat yourself out of a loving relationship with God and the peace that comes with it because you think you don’t have time. Include God in your thoughts while you do your chores, listen to praise music, pray. Start a list of things you’re grateful for, rent a Biblical movie. Memorize scripture, sing a hymn, reflect on God’s goodness and His handiwork and as you fall asleep, end your day with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving.

Be creative and enjoy your time with God.  The more time you spend with Him, the more peace and joy you will experience.  As you reap the benefits of spending time with God, you’ll soon find yourself craving time with Him. He’s there –waiting for you.

Now, it’s your turn. Share your favorite way to spend time with God.


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