“Oh no!” said Jack

This morning Jack, our dog, and I were taking our first walk of the day. It was 6:00am. I like that time of the morning. It’s still quiet from human activity as we walk around the neighborhood. Seagulls are swooping, calling out greetings to each other, and the sky is pale in color as it waits for the sun to fully rise.

As I was enjoying the sights and sounds of nature, Jack was lost in important sniffing pursuits — I call it reading the canine morning papers. He neared a tree, walked over to have a sniff when suddenly, and very quickly, he backs up and sits down, paw lifted, panicked eyes locked on mine. “What is it boy?” I speak soothing words to him as I stoop down to investigate. Had something stung him? Did he step on a thorn? No, he had kerplopped his paw into a little pile of poo! Oh, no! I found a leaf and did the best I could to remove the unwanted, awful mess between his toes. His panicked gaze was steady on me the whole time. Having done the best I could I stood up and said, “It’s okay now. All gone.” Just like that, with a smile, as if nothing had happened, he pranced along happy as can be. We purposefully walked through dewy grass after that to finish the cleaning job, and when we got home, I took his doggie wipes and sterilized his paw and pads —and sterilized my fingers, too!

I was warmly touched that he came immediately to me when something bad had happened to him. His stare of panic never left me. He trusted whatever I chose to do, believing that I was helping him. I would remedy his problem and ease away his troubled spirit, of that he was sure.

Poor Jack, stepping into mess, but we step into mess, too, don’t we. Sometimes it’s an accident. We didn’t see trouble coming. Sometimes it’s our own wrong or foolish choices that lands us in a pile of life’s poo! We can fret. We can talk to others. We can try to pretend it never happened. We can do lots of things but the only right thing to do is — come to Jesus. Remember what He told His followers in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus never gets overburdened Himself. When you come to Him, He never thinks, “Oh no! Not this one again!” Just as I was warmed in my heart when Jack looked to me, Jesus is warmed all the more when we come to Him, trusting that He will know what to do, and His comfort will come quickly. When we turn to Jesus, He will stoop down with assurances that all will be well. He will clean up the mess of our troubled souls. He will urge us onward. He will never leave our side. He will walk us on fresh, dewy grass of joy, to wipe away our fears. He will do all that is needed and best for us. His compassions never fail; they are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Never forget, while it’s comforting to turn to a friend for help, go to Jesus first. His comfort is like no other.

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