Rex William was a beautiful Silver Sable, King Shepherd, and I had the privilege of being his human mama. For the most part, he was a good dog. He loved to go running with me, he loved to wrestle with my boys, he loved to play hide and go seek, but mostly he was simply happy he had found a good home.
Rex was rescued from an abusive home when he was six months old, and then passed from home to home until he found his way into my family’s heart. In our home he was loved, he was cared for, and he was safe.
One of the things that made our home good and safe for Rex William was that we had a fenced in area to keep him out of trouble, and keep trouble from him. Rex didn’t realize this made our home loving. In fact, he didn’t like the fence at all. He found it more fun to jump the fence so he could run free. In his simple understanding, Rex could never know the dangers of jumping the fence, he only knew it was fun to stretch his legs and run as far and as fast as he wanted to.
The truth is that there are dangers for a dog who does not stay inside the boundaries provided by its owners. At the time I had Rex, I lived on a busy road and the cars drove by my house fast. I also lived in the country were wild animals were known to attack house pets.
Not to mention that Rex was beautiful, and had rare coloring. Dishonest people could have stolen him away from the family he had grown to love so much. The fence was not meant to spoil his fun or take away the goodness of life for him, the fence was there to protect him in ways that he did not understand.
The first few times that Rex jumped the fence nothing bad happened. He made it back inside safely, no harm done. Still, the danger was always present, and eventually that danger took Rex away from us. On December 9, 2010 Rex was hit and killed by a car. One of the hardest things for me was that he did not die immediately; he suffered for hours with the consequences of going outside of his boundaries. As his loving caretaker, I suffered too. In fact to this day I still miss my sweet Mr. Rex.
I have often heard people say that religion is nothing but a set of rules created by man to control others. Though this sometimes is the case, sometimes people do use the Bible to try to control others, or they take things out of context to condemn, this is not God’s heart. In the same way I lovingly put boundaries around Rex William to protect him, God has lovingly put boundaries around us.
Just as Rex couldn’t understand the dangers that were outside of his boundaries, it is hard for us to see the dangers outside of the boundaries God has placed around us. It may seem that God is trying to squelch our fun, or rob us of experiences, but the truth is that he is trying to protect us from the dangers of going outside of those boundaries. Just as it broke my heart when Rex was hurt from going outside of my boundaries, God hurts with us when we have consequences for going outside of his.
He created us, and He knows the dangers that exist to our minds, hearts, and bodies. When you strip all opinions away and read the Bible weighing it against human behavior it becomes clear that it is not just a set of rules, it is a love letter to us from God. There is a standard set that we cannot meet, but the standard is set in order to protect us from hurting ourselves and hurting others. By nature, we are not good at following the standard, which is why Jesus came to this earth. It is God’s desire that we all come to see His love for us, and find healing in the truth found in the Bible.
If you are having a hard time seeing God as loving, it is okay. Many of us do. If you need to talk with someone about it, or ask questions please come see us at Olive Chapel. We would love to help in any way we can. Our services start at 10:00am ET. And our phone number is 574-654-3615.