BY: CLINT PERCEFULL
Fever has struck the Percefull household. Not the Flu, or the Plague, but something far more powerful. Puppy Fever. For the longest time we have had two small dogs that have been a great part of our family. Sadly, one of them passed away this winter leaving a void in our lives. So beginning early this spring the fever struck. I wanted to get a bigger dog, but couldn’t decide what type.
After months and months of searching, we found a puppy at the pound. We were told he was a German Shepherd which really excited me. I brought him home and introduced him to the rest of our family. We named him Bruce and everyone loved him. However, after only a few hours we began to notice some features and behavior that was not reflective of the breed (he was not a Shepherd). He was pretty aggressive, and eventually bit one of the kids in the face! That settled it; Bruce had to go back. This was a HUGE disappointment to the kids. With tears in our eyes, we said goodbye to Bruce.
This was one of the hardest things I have had to do as a parent. I know that Bruce was not the best thing for our family. In fact, he could have caused many problems and possibly even hurt one of us. The kids wanted to rationalize what had happened and did not quite understand why things had to be done. However, they trusted that we knew what was best. In their eyes, losing Bruce was a bad thing. As parents though, we were acting on what was better for our family.
We see this same idea play out in Genesis chapter 3. This all too familiar story tells us of man’s fall and exile from the Garden of Eden.
Verses 22-23 state:
Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and He sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made.
Every time I had read that scripture in the past I had gotten a sense of an almost mean spirit from God. He didn’t want us living forever, and even guarded the tree. However, this last time I read it I had a new understanding. God was not being mean, he was doing what was best for us. His punishment was not vindictive, but redemptive. Had we been able to eat from the tree of life and live forever we would be living forever in our fallen state, in this now sinful world. This was not God’s desire. He loved us so much that He didn’t want that to happen, so He banished us from the garden.
Don’t get me wrong, banishment from the garden was still a punishment and a direct result of our sin. Our lives are harder now because of sin, but what an awesome God we serve. A God that loves us so much that even in the midst of our sin, and sometimes deliberate disobedience, He still works what is best for us.
(FYI we got a new puppy named Ellie. She is the sweetest dog and fits in perfectly with our family!)
Fun board game you probably haven’t heard of: