By: Dr. Suzanne Laidlaw
If someone were to ask me what the clinical veterinarian really does; I would answer that we build relationships. The love of animals is not enough to be a clinical veterinarian, it has to involve the love of people as well. When I wake each day, I know I am going to help sick animals, give a clean bill of health to others, bring animals into the world and help other animals end their lives peacefully. What I do not know is the people that I am going to walk through all these procedures with. While on the farm or in the 20 minute appointment, I am going to do my best to build a relationship with these people so they will trust me and know that my advice is in the best interest of their animal and them.
This sounds more like Vet Tips 101, but let’s consider this in relation to drawing near to Christ. He asks us to build a relationship with Him. And this is unique, He is like no other god.
Before I make this claim though, it is important for me to have some facts behind my words. So here are what a few other religions build their foundation on, in regards to their relationship with their god.
- Buddhists believe there is no deity. That keeps it simple because if there is no deity then there is no one to draw near to.
- New Age believers would say they are god. So they have no god to have a relationship with or their relationship is with themselves. There is no external god to relate to.
- Hindu believers acknowledge that there are a multitude of gods and goddesses, no single deity to call on. Through meditation, yoga and other rituals, they attempt to please their god sand goddesses as to accomplish a higher re-incarnation. So their gods again do not interact with them.
- Muslims are similar to Christians and believe there is one god but the difference is that he is placed higher. Their god is unknowable and very powerful. It is not a god that asks for its followers to come close but rather a god that asks for its followers to accomplish the 5 pillars in order to earn their place in paradise.
- Judaism, also like Christianity believes in one god. Religious duties, tradition, prayers and other rituals are how they dialogue with god, not with a god calling them to a personal relationship.
Our God, the Christian God, is in passionate pursuit of a relationship with us. It is at the core of who we are. It’s hwy we were created. Our God is unique because he individually calls each of us to follow him. There are no rituals, traditions or duties that we have to do. We simply have to accept His gift of mercy and live in grace. Our God has given us this gift. We can know Him and we have to give Him nothing in return.
Why is this important? Why do we even need to be close to God?
So let me go back to my initial example of our clinical relationship with clients. By knowing, understanding, and building relationships with clients, two outcomes are made possible:
First, we build trust and reliability. The client will further seek and rely on our advice to know what is best for their pet or farm. This is the same for us and God. The more we build a relationship with Him, the more we rely on and trust that He is faithful. Some may think we should just trust God with our minds. But as we walk through life and see how faithful and unchanging He is, we cannot deny that our faith and trust only grows more. The same is true for the doctor-patient relationship.
Secondly, we are able to serve better when we understand the needs of the client. This means understanding their finances, their health, their relationship with the animal, their ability to understand what we are explaining and what they hope/expect the outcomes to be. With this knowledge we can serve the animal and the client.
We build our relationship with God in the same way. Sharing details of our daily walk, studying His word, praying and crying out to Him. Through these things we will better know Him and be better equipped to serve Him, which is of eternal purpose. We were made to serve.
Our God is like no other god. He truly wants to know you. He will always be calling you closer to Him. He loves you. He wants you to trust Him, to rely on Him, to serve Him. Draw near to God, build a relationship with Him.