I will admit it. I am not a “dog person.” Cats are my animal of choice. One of the many reasons I prefer cats is that they do not normally hang out their tongues and pant. I do not enjoy dog slobber or doggy breath either! But the tongue hanging out is not especially an endearing quality.
Of course, God in His wisdom and creativity designed the dog to pant in order to cool down. Except through their paw pads, a dog will not sweat through their skin and so they need to pant. The circulating air enters their bodies and cools them down.
Our verse for today speaks of panting for God’s commands! It is a surprising sentiment as one does not normally embrace laws and commands with such enthusiasm. One tends to balk against any restrictions on one’s freedom. Rather than seeing them as something negative, the author embraces them, knowing that wisdom and blessings come from obedience. He pants for them. They are as important as the air one breathes. They make true life possible.
I love the image of the deer panting for water (Psalm 42:1). In just the same way, our soul pants for God. He is the Source of all that nourishes and satisfies. If I am panting and longing for that intimacy with God, then my attitude towards His commands will be just as enthusiastic! By following His commands I stay close to Him and our relationship grows deeper and deeper.
Lord, help me to be enthusiastic about following Your way, knowing it will lead to a closer relationship with You.