Showing God My Belly {The Beginnings of Submission}

belly rubMy girls and I are all animal lovers. So when we found a devotion book for kids brimming with fun facts about animals, we were thrilled. Of course, I bought it thinking it was mostly for my girls. But the Lord has used devotion after devotion in The One Year Devos for Animal Lovers to minister to my heart.

One such devotion was about dogs and how a dog shows his submission and trust by rolling over onto his back and showing his belly – a very vulnerable position. And then, of course, the devotion tied it in with us choosing to trust God. My first reaction was simply that it was a “cute” devotion. I have had dogs all of my life, so I am quite familiar with pups who love a good belly rub. But I did’t make any grand spiritual connections to myself.

That is, until a few days later when I went to a Wednesday night prayer service at my church, and it got a little (a lot) more personal. I sensed the Lord calling me to more. To press in more. To press in deeper. To really seek Him, listen to Him, and obey Him. And my initial reaction?

Hesitancy.

{Yep. How’s that for being honest?}

The next morning, I found myself still feeling that way. Hesitant. Pulling back from Him a little instead of pressing in. Oh, I was praying. I would talk to Him while I was making myself busy around my house. But I couldn’t (wouldn’t) sit down. I confessed to a friend later in the day that I knew why.

It was because part of me was afraid. Afraid of what He was going to find that He disliked in my heart and life. Afraid of what things He was going to ask me to give up. Afraid of what He was going to ask me to do. Now, I have walked with the Lord for over 17 years. I know He is good. I know He loves me. But that Thursday morning, I was doing anything BUT actually sitting down before Him.

And in my unwillingness to sit down, I saw it. I saw the connection to the devotion.

I would not show God my belly.

You see, when a dog shows its master its belly, it has to stop what it is doing and put itself in that posture of submission. And God was calling me to stop all that I was doing and sit before Him with a heart ready to listen, trust, and obey. To posture myself in submission. And I. Wouldn’t. Do it.

{Ugh.}

Thankfully, He did not stop pursuing me. He reminded me that when the dog positions itself like that in front of its master good follows. Love happens. The dog’s master affectionately rubs the dog’s belly. He doesn’t beat the dog. He doesn’t kick the dog. He loves on that dog. Now don’t think I am saying that siting before the Lord is us simply getting a spiritual tummy rub. BUT when we sit in His presence and in His Word, even if He does have to bring correction and redirection, it is always about His LOVE. Every word He speaks is spoken out of pure, unchanging, unconditional, unlosable love.

We can trust His love for us, His plans for us, His heart toward us. We can feel completely safe “showing God our bellies,” even when we know things might get more than a little personal. When we know He may touch on some tough stuff. We need to lay all else aside and sit still before Him – letting our posture declare to Him (and to our own hearts) that we trust Him, we need Him, and more than anything else, we want to live our lives HIS way.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6

May we trust His love enough to daily take the time to show Him our bellies. And even if we feel vulnerable, even if we feel exposed, may we remember that what we will find when we meet with Him is His amazing and unending love.

Blessings, friends,

Kimberly

***Photo Credit: Outlier on Flickr***

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