Just as I am: A Lesson from Izzy, a Labrador Rescue

Jesus declared, “All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me: and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, never reject anyone who follows Me].” – John 6:37, Amplified

Meet Izzy.  A year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever.  Last fall my friend and her husband brought this beautiful girl home from a local animal rescue.  She has all the endearing qualities of a Labrador.  An insatiable desire to love and be loved, a playful nature, and the belief that she is a 70 pound lap dog.  At one point in her life, someone invested time into training her. She came knowing the basic commands of sit, stay, come and had an elementary understanding of walking on a leash.

 Sadly, Izzy also comes with a fuzzy history.  In her short life, this is her third home.  As a result, she brings baggage from her previous experiences.  She fears anything she doesn’t understand.  A leaf skittering across the driveway, a shadow moving across the living room floor, a trashcan sitting at a distance will send her into a barking frenzy.  Barking has become her means of scaring away anything she perceives as threatening. She is also stubborn and had learned to use her strength of mind and body to get her way. Given the opportunity she will literally argue with you over the necessity of obeying a command.

On her own, Izzy is incapable of changing her bad habits.  She needs the consistency of love and discipline my friend and her husband offer to break the cycle of fear, redirect her stubbornness, and bring healing to the brokenness of her past.  A recent visit with Izzy revealed just how much she is growing, learning, and healing.  It will be a slow road, but this dog is blessed with owners who have accepted Izzy just as she is and are committed to walking this journey to wholeness alongside her. 

Truth be told we each have a story like Izzy.  We each have our endearing qualities that everyone loves.  We also have a history in which we’ve experienced brokenness, developed bad habits, and fallen into cycles of fear, stubbornness, self-sufficiency, etc.  Other people can offer us love and help.  But really there is only one person whose unconditional love and discipline will break us free from the past and bring complete healing.  His name is Jesus.  The best news is He accepts each of us just as we are and renews our life when we abide in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).  As the hymn goes,

“Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thy love unknown
Hath broken every barrier down;
Now, to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.
“- Charlotte Elliott*

*Elliott, Charlotte.  (1835).  “Just as I Am” [Lyrics].  Retrieved from URL https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Just_as_I_Am/

© 2019-2020, Lessons from a Lab, Beth Alisan.  All Rights Reserved.

8 thoughts on “Just as I am: A Lesson from Izzy, a Labrador Rescue

  1. Diane

    Wonderful message Beth. You continue to amaze me with your words. I am forever grateful that you continue to share your blessings from our gracious and forgiving Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian Hicks

    Beautifully written. So thankful that our Savior accepts us just as we are. I’m also very Happy that Izzy has found a home with labby parents who will be patient and love her as she is.

    Liked by 1 person

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