I’m not exactly sure when I lost my sanity. It was a gradual process, I think, but somewhere over the last decade I managed to completely lose my senses. We have five children, a homeschooling schedule to keep up, a house that is never clean, and a dog who will probably never be completely trained. Yet despite all this, we took in another puppy this weekend. A mutt. Emaciated, shivering, and scared. For all we knew, the thing had fleas. So what in the world would possess us to take in a stray under such circumstances? The answer is quite simple, actually. He needed us.

When I read in the Bible that I am “adopted” as God’s child, this is how I picture the adoption. God didn’t choose me because I was so good or so loyal or so faithful. No, He picked me because I desperately needed Him. I was like that poor, pathetic, starving, terrified dog with nowhere to turn and no hope for the future. Without God’s intervention, all I had to look forward to was death. Eternal death, mind you. Not a pretty picture.

Romans 5:6 tells us that “at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” And a few verses later we read that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus died for us when we were powerless. We had no hope of saving ourselves. The action is solely God’s, from beginning to end. He’s the One who sent Jesus to die for us and rise again, He’s the One who calls us His own, and He’s the One who now feeds and nourishes us through His holy Word and Sacraments. He brings us into His family, and He’s responsible for keeping us there.

Right now, our new dog is in terrible condition. You can see his ribs and spine, and his shoulder blades stick out when he walks. It’s almost painful to look at him. But with proper nourishment, time, and love, we just might have a healthy, happy dog. And who knows? Maybe at some point along the way, I’ll even find my sanity again.