You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Have you ever been in the doghouse? In case you don’t know what that means, the doghouse is a place where husbands are sentenced by their wives when they fail to live up to the wife’s expectations. It’s not a literal doghouse but is, figuratively, a place that is very cold and miserable. While in the doghouse the husband receives little to no verbal communication from his wife except for an occasional slamming of an object, the failure of an expected meal to appear on the table, and a continual sullen expression on her face.
I’ve never heard of a doghouse for women. I’m not saying there isn’t one…but I’ve never known of anybody to be sent there except husbands and boyfriends. I suppose the purpose of the doghouse is behavior modification although I doubt it has ever really had that effect. Generally, the sins of the offending husband are ultimately forgiven, but a time of discomfort must first be experienced. No matter how many times the man says, “Baby, I’m sorry,” he will remain incarcerated until she decides he has adequately paid his penalty. Forgiveness is coming but…he will have to wait until she is ready.
I have a friend who has spent so much time in the doghouse that he calls his wife, “The Warden.”
I’m happy to say that God doesn’t have a doghouse: a place of waiting, isolation, and suffering until forgiveness can be fully manifest. There is no line and no waiting to enter into His presence. Access to His forgiveness, goodness and love are only a prayer away.
In today’s focus scripture the Psalmist lifts up words of praise as He reflects on God’s marvelous character: “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.” God bestows His favor on those who call upon Him. Our petitions of heartfelt sorrow and repentance for sin do not go unnoticed. God responds instantly to our sincere pleas for forgiveness. As He forgives he gives generously and does not withhold His goodness and love.
I love music and have favorite songs and artists in multiple styles. Lately, I have become fond of a genre of music known as gospel. There is something about gospel music that touches the depths of my soul and connects with my relationship to God. Frequently on Saturday evenings I tune into PBS for the Bill Gaither program. As I hear those great gospel songs I am frequently drawn into a time of wonderful worship in which I experience the magnificence of God. The question that was posed in last night’s broadcast was, “Does God care?” As I listened to the music and meditated upon the compassion of God, I was overwhelmed with just how much my God cares. Countless times He has forgiven me. So many times I have been the recipient of His goodness. How often I have experienced His abounding love.
The more you get to know someone the more you can confidently predict their response to a situation. Such is the case with God when you foster a close personal relationship with Him. You will know what to expect and more importantly, you will have confidence in His response.
My journey with God has taught me that He is completely trustworthy…totally reliable. I know that when I sin, He will forgive me. I know without a doubt God is good, and I will forever be the recipient of His goodness. And I know…that I know…that I know…that God loves me with an eternal and unwavering love. The words of the Psalmist express what I know to be true concerning God. “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.”
Do you know these things about God? More than just the words…can you speak these words experientially? Has your walk with God revealed these wonderful attributes of God? If so, then praise Him. If not, then make up your mind today to immerse yourself in fostering a close, intimate, personal relationship with the God of all creation.
Do you need His forgiveness today? Do you need His goodness and love? All are available to you right now and all you have to do is call on Him. There is no line and no waiting.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Are You Missing Out On the Nearness of God?
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.