When our son Neil was 13 months old, my husband and I couldn’t wait to introduce him to his first Easter Egg Hunt. The night before Easter, I boiled a half dozen eggs and turned them bright with food coloring. Then we “hid” the eggs in very visible places: on the bookshelf, on the kitchen counter, beside the television set, on the the tray of his high chair, on the kitchen table, and one bright yellow egg — the “easy find” — in the center of the hassock in our living room.
When Neil got up on Easter morning, we gave him his Easter basket filled with the requisite candy and fluffy stuffed toys. Then we explained the concept of the Easter Egg Hunt. I carried him into the living room to show him that yellow “easy-find” egg lying on the hassock. Except…it wasn’t.
The only thing left of that whole, bright egg were a few crumbles of yolk. The egg had obviously already been found by the fourth member of our family — our cocker spaniel Lucky.
I scowled at our dog, who was thoroughly into the spirit of the Egg Hunt, his doggie tail wagging and his doggie mouth smiling. I was about to launch into my scold-the-beast mode when my husband burst into laughter.
What? Laughing? When our son’s very first Easter Egg Hunt was practically ruined!
“I can’t believe Lucky ate it, shell and all,” I moaned.
“He’s a dog, Sue. You left him an egg. He ate it.”
Okay. Right. I get it. *sigh* He’s a dog.
By that time, our son had already spotted several Easter eggs. I set him on his feet and off he trotted. He found every egg, even without the blatant how-to hint of the “easy-find.” Then he brought them back to us, wondrous, multi-colored treasures.
My husband and I still laugh about that Easter morning. Obviously, we didn’t know our dog as well as we thought. Since our years with Lucky, we’ve owned four more dogs, and we’ve found that we do a better job as dog-owners if we understand each dog’s personality, and his quirks, fears, and joys. To prevent avoidable misunderstandings, we try to see the world as a dog might, at dog-eye-level.
Okay, now hang in here with me as I make a rather bumpy trip into an analogy comparing me and our dogs to God and His children. (I told you it was bumpy!) My life-lessons as a dog owner make these particular Bible verses – King David singing to the Lord — settle into my heart as comfort. “I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…My substance was not hid from Thee, when I was made in secret.” Psalms 139:14-15 (KJV)
What joy! The Lord knows us infinitely well. He knew us even before we were born. His plans for our lives take into account our physical needs, our spiritual maturity, our strengths, weaknesses, aptitudes, and talents. Even our quirks. As a result, when God hides treasures for us to find, those treasures are exactly what we need to bring us joy, or wisdom, or growth, or strength. What blessed assurance!
So… in this after-Easter time, when the egg hunts are over for another year, remember, God is still hiding treasures made especially for you. Happy hunting!
(Photo by Sue Harrison)