Today I came home from the grocery store to paper scattered across the floor. Wrappers, to be exact.
Earlier I had been munching on some fancy chocolate that I received as a gift. Dark chocolate. So good. I left it on the table – but not without second guessing if it was a good idea… if I could go back in time, I would have simply moved it to the kitchen counter.
Lucy, my roommates’ dog, had devoured the remaining bit of chocolate… at least that’s what the shredded paper all over the floor seemed to suggest.
I immediately called her owner and proceeded to take her to the vet. Chocolate can be poisonous to dogs because…
Chocolate contains an alkaloid called “theobromine”. Theobromine is in the same family as caffeine and is a type of stimulant (they both are mythylxanines). Theobromine stimulates the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and causes a slightly increases blood pressure.
Dogs and certain other animals, such as horses and cats, cannot metabolize theobromine as quickly as humans can; this causes the above effects to be much more severe than is the case with humans. The specific notable side effects of toxic levels of theobromine in dogs includes: diarrhea; vomiting; increased urination; muscle twitching; excessive panting; hyperactive behavior; whining; dehydration; digestive problems; seizures; and rapid heart rate. Some of these symptoms, like the rapid heart rate, can ultimately be fatal to the dog. –TodayIfoundOut.com
All that to say… poor Lucy. I felt terrible. She had to vomit up the chocolate that I had left out on the table… such an unpleasant afternoon for her. And her poor owners. I put in harm a puppy that’s not even mine.
As I was driving home, I thought – “Lord, why did this happen? I feel so irresponsible…” On top of that… I couldn’t afford the bill. Pet doctors seem to be almost as expensive as human doctors.
“Lord, I feel sooo horrible. Ah, this is totally my fault and I can’t even make it right.”
I was starting to get pretty upset… a.k.a tears coming.
I called my dad. I don’t even know if my story made sense, but my dad seemed to understand. He said, “If that’s the worst that happens – we can handle that.”
And the bill was paid.
Just like that.
Tonight, I also had Community Group where we were talking about Sunday’s sermon entitled, “The Mission of the King: Following Jesus.”
It was kind of hard to focus, as I was a bit rattled and tired from the afternoon’s events – but the thing that was discussed and impressed upon my heart was the reality that the Gospel is Good News – not good advice.
“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” -Colossians 2:13-14
Just now, I was folding laundry, reflecting on the day… wondering once again why all of this happened. I hate messing up. I hate not being able to pay my dues. I hate relying on others. I hate failing… but the Gospel came to mind and the fact that God has demonstrated so clearly through today’s events what He has done for me…
I have messed up… big time. It’s called sin.
Today, this can be equated with me being irresponsible and leaving chocolate on the table where Lucy could reach.
I can’t go back in time. There are consequences for missing the mark (a.k.a sin) – whether it’s an accident or not. It happened.
Lucy could have been seriously hurt. And in turn, a vet visit was necessary to fix what I started, what I did. But then, I couldn’t pay the bill that I incurred.
But my dad was able and willing… and I was undeserving. It was my fault, not his. Why did he pay my bill?
Answer: love. For some reason, my dad loves me and is willing to pay my debt – no questions asked.
In the same way, in our humanity we have sinned and have incurred a debt against our Creator. We don’t have the resources to pay it. We’re doomed… unless someone will pay our debt for us. But who can do that? And who even would?
Answer: God. 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. (John 3:16)
I’m so thankful. Thank you Lord for my dad who is an incredible example of Your love and thank you for being an amazing Heavenly Father. Thank you for stepping in, for taking my punishment so that I could live. And I am also grateful that Lucy seems to be recovering. You care about every aspect of our lives. You are good, Lord. Thank You.