Psalm 119:131 (NIV) I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.

My wife Lynn and I have a yellow lab, named Della. We have raised her from a pup and although she can frustrate us from time to time, we love her very much. We have always welcomed dogs as a part of our family. For those of you who do not, or have not, I don’t condemn you as foolish, but I must say I am sorry you have chosen to deny yourself one of the greatest joys this world has to offer.

Della pants for my attention seemingly all the time. She stands, wiggling, and panting when she sees me first thing in the morning. She greets me at the door panting for my attention when I arrive back home at the end of the day. She gets up and comes to me and pants for me to pet her head or scratch behind her ear when I am sitting in our living room. When we go for a ride in our van she sits in the seat panting, trying everything possible to position herself to make contact with me while I try to drive. Yes…dogs pant when they are hot, but most of Della’s panting in my direction takes place in a perfectly controlled air conditioned environment. Her actions when she does this don’t say “I’m hot” they say, “I can’t live without you, I need you, I appreciate you, I want to be near you” (sometimes too near me). Della loves me, (yes I know dogs aren’t capable of love, well ordinary ones aren’t…but Della is) Della adores me, Della trusts me, and her panting at the prospect of interaction with me shows those things to be true.

Psalm 119:131 indicates that ought to be our reaction to God’s Word. Each day, we should wake up with this thought on our minds, “Lord I can’t live without you I need you…I appreciate you…I want to be near you.” We should be excited to get a word from God! Our greatest desire ought to be to race to His Word first thing and devour as much of it as possible! We should be crazy for it, digesting it voraciously, downcast when we have to retire from it until later. Praying continually as we are encouraged by the scripture shouldn’t be anything but pure joy! When we think about the fact that the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Ruler of Heavens Armies desires to be in constant communication with us, it should make our hearts skip a beat! It should make us pant for Him.

So during these dog days of summer I want to challenge you to not be lethargic and sleepy on your walk with your sweet, sweet Savior. Get up earlier in the cool of the morning and run into His Word, spend the day with your ears perked listening for all He has to say to you. Open your mouth and pant for Him and listen for his commands, and then enjoy the loving touch of your Master.

So now, panting for His commands, go be awesome!