I was observing my dog panting. As most of us know, dogs pant to cool themselves since, unlike humans, dogs have no sweat glands. They pant to evaporate moisture in their nose and lungs, cooling them in a similar manner that we would stand in front of a fan to evaporate our sweat. What about when we pant, will it cool us off like a dog? Not quite. While it can help to cool us, we are physiologically different and, if prolonged, it can also lead to hyperventilation. Yet there are numerous cartoons and humorous sketches that depict humans panting, desperately seeking something. It is usually in the context of lusting after a sexy man or woman, heating up, not cooling oneself! As comical as this depiction is, there is a more profound and beautiful reason why we should pant. Once again, God gives us the answer.
I pant with expectation, longing for your commands.
Psalms 119:131 (NLT)
Dogs pant to comfort and cool themselves. If we pant, it should be to comfort ourselves by asking God for His instruction and guidance. This is what we were created to do. Yet, we find many substitutes, ones that may give us temporary pleasure but ultimately lead to disappointment. The late evangelist, Ravi Zacharias, succinctly observed, “The loneliest moment in life is when you have just experienced that which you thought would deliver the ultimate and it has just let you down.”
We may pant after the ephemeral pleasures in life but as many tragically learn, it will ultimately let us down. Educational degrees, business success, a big house-all of these will pass. Only panting after God’s commands and instructions will lead us to true fulfillment and happiness. Why? Our Lord Jesus Christ gives us the sobering answer.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?
Matthew 16:26 (NLT)
Nothing is worth more than our soul. No degree of personal or professional success will ever save our soul from eternal separation from God. Only by confessing and repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior will we be able to receive the true fulfillment of life that God created us to enjoy.
We are created to pant after our Living God, Jesus Christ!
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.