The Good News from Pumpkin
by Beverly Yuen
My children wished to have a dog for a long, long time. Our dinner conversations often included the children begging, “Mom, Dad, can we please have a dog? It would be so much fun! Please!” A firm “No” always followed their pleas. After all, a dog is too much work and my husband and I would end up doing all the work caring for it.
The kids continued their quest for a dog for several years. Each time they grew sadder and sadder. I finally gave in and convinced my husband to allow the kids to have a bunny. We all agreed to get a mini-lop bunny. This was about a year ago. Even before the children saw him, they chose the name “Pumpkin.” Before bringing Pumpkin home, my family took many trips to the pet store to buy everything we needed to provide a good home for this newcomer. Finally, everything was ready for the big day to bring Pumpkin home from the breeder. He was six weeks old and had a beautiful coat of orange, brown and grey fur. The children were so excited! Soon, we all enjoyed playing with him and caring for him. However, Pumpkin was not allowed to be outside of his cage because my husband and I worried that he would make a mess around the house. One day I felt sorry for Pumpkin because he had no freedom. Finally, I decided to let him roam around freely in our backyard. I made sure everything was bunny safe so he couldn’t get out and get lost. Wow, was he happy! He leaped and dashed and went crazy. He ran around so much that he ran into the fence several times, bumping his head. Since then, I have allowed him to run around in our family room. Unfortunately, one time when we were not watching carefully, Pumpkin chewed and severed the wires to the phone recorder and lamp with his very sharp teeth. We got mad at him, but that didn’t last long. He is a member of our family and brings us so much joy! We all share in caring for Pumpkin and we all love him very dearly.
From these experiences, I have learned a lot and see some parallels between God and humans. Here are some of my thoughts:
1. Our children wanted to get Pumpkin for companionship, but very soon, Pumpkin became part of our family and we all love him. God desires to have humans for companionship and He wants us to be part of His family.
2. We prepared a good home for Pumpkin and learned how to raise a bunny before his arrival. From the beginning, God prepared the earth with abundant provisions and made it a beautiful habitat for humans.
3. Because we love Pumpkin, we don’t want to always keep him in a cage, but want to let him have some freedom. God loves us so much that He gives us the freedom of choice.
4. Pumpkin doesn’t know his limits. He runs into the fence and bites through wires. Humans don’t know their limits and abuse their freedom to choose, ignoring the teachings from the Bible. This is what the Bible calls “sin.”
5. We love Pumpkin even though he makes mistakes because we chose him and because he is a member of our family. Even though we humans rebel against God and disobey Him, God still loves us and is patient with us, because He made us. He longs for us to turn to Him to love and obey Him.
6. Pumpkin is limited in intelligence and cannot comprehend how much smarter humans are. If human intelligence is like a preschooler’s, then God’s intelligence is much more than that of all Nobel Prize winners put together. That’s why we don’t understand why, oh why, life seems so unfair, or why bad things happen. Why this and why that? In the Bible, He promises that one day when we see Him face to face, everything will be made clear to us. Meanwhile, we need to have faith that God does what is best for those who trust Him. That’s how He wants it for now.
7. Pumpkin cannot clean up the mess he makes, so we have to clean up after him. We often cannot clean up the mess that we have made, but when we place our trust in God, He will.
8. We wish Pumpkin would be affectionate to us voluntarily, but this doesn’t happen too often. God desires that we choose to be thankful to Him and to love Him freely. Therefore, He gives us the ability to think and free will to choose. God could program us to be anything He wants us to be. Just observe the instincts of all the animals around us. They are programmed to behave in a certain way. But it is meaningless for God to program us to love Him. That would not be love. Like a loving parent, God speaks to us and teaches us. He does this through His creation, through the Bible, and through His Son, Jesus Christ. God knows best how we should run our lives.
The Bible says, “Ever since God created the world, His invisible qualities, both His eternal power and His divine nature, have been clearly seen; they are perceived in the things that God has made."
So those people have no excuse at all! They know God, but they do not give Him the honor that belongs to Him, nor do they thank Him. Instead, their thoughts have become complete nonsense, and their empty minds are filled with darkness. They say they are wise, but they are fools; instead of worshiping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles” (Romans 1:20-23). In other words, in all times and in all places, humans know in their hearts that there is a God. The universe and life are much too complex and organized to happen by chance. To fill the void, humans have created their own gods in different ways. However, Jesus is the one and only one who came back to life from the dead to prove to us He is who He claimed to be. He is the Son of God. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. The first Christians were willing to be persecuted and to die for their beliefs because they knew the truth about Jesus! They staked their lives on their knowing that Jesus rose from the dead. No one is willing to die for what he knows is a lie!
So, if God’s purpose in making humans is to have companionship and to express his love to us, what then is our purpose? Our purpose is “to glorify Him and to enjoy Him and His beautiful creation forever.” The Bible teaches that our sins separate us from God. God sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, so that we can be reconciled with Him. We must confess our sin to God, believe that Jesus died for our sins and place our trust in Jesus. That is God’s requirement, no other way will do. God set the requirement because He is the ultimate judge. Whoever chooses to believe in Jesus will receive eternal life. God has prepared a new home in heaven for His children when they finish their journey on earth. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, smart or not so smart, or how much good work you have done. God makes it simple and available for everyone to receive the gift of eternal life. We have a choice to accept or reject His Son, Jesus Christ. And rejecting Jesus means eternal separation from God. This is a very grim picture indeed!
If you are sincere in knowing the truth, seek God with a sincere heart. God will reveal Himself to you and you will find Him. The Bible promises “You will seek me (God) and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).