It means short days.
Short days means that when my work day is over at 5 pm it’s already dark outside.
We have two small dogs, Piper and Cooper. They use our backyard for all of their bathroom needs. When it’s dark outside I can’t go and pick up their stinky deposits so they accumulate.
Dogs are weird. They like to stink. Sometimes they will roll in and on stinky stuff to make themselves smell “good”. Smelling good to them is smelling bad to us. We won’t let them share the couch if they stink. Their behavior has separated us.
Another thing that happens is that between groomer visits the hair in all areas of their body gets long, even on their backside so sometimes they collect an unsavory berry, what we call dingle berries. This also adds to their unpleasant odor.
Their smell, in part brought on by their behavior and in part brought on just being dogs has separated us.
I was already thinking about how my relationship to our dogs is similar to my relationship with God, how he feeds me and cares for me and cleans up my messes. But then bathtime came for our dogs. We had to take action, do something to make them clean again so we could both enjoy a snuggle on the couch.
God has taken action to make me clean. He couldn’t stand the stench of my sin so he sent Jesus to die for my sins, so I can be made clean again. Why would he do that? Because he enjoys snuggling with me. Or at least the God/human equivalent of a snuggle, we call it fellowship, but that word doesn’t really convey the sweetness of a couch snuggle with a puppy.
This idea started with me reading Matthew 14, Jesus heard about John the Baptist being beheaded and he got into a boat and sailed off to be alone and mourn but when he came ashore there were a bunch of needy people waiting for him.
“When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”
Matthew 14:13-14 – NIV
God has had compassion on me, on us. He wants a couch snuggle but we stink, from our behavior yes but from our very humanness. He sent Jesus to provide a way to wash away our stench and make us clean.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 – NIV
It’s winter and it’s cold outside and I long to snuggle with my dogs. Is God feeling a similar thing about me? About us? Are we clean enough to approach his couch? We can be through Jesus. Need a bath so you can snuggle? I did. How about you?