His Name Is Jack

It was Sunday afternoon when my mother and I came across a thrown away puppy.  He was about 5 months old, a black lab.  He had been abandoned and was sitting next to a fence gate; a look of confusion on his face, but he immediately responded to our coaxing voices, letting us stroke him and pick him up.

I knew we couldn’t keep him for so many reasons, but my heart loved him the moment I saw him.  We took him to our place with the goal of finding him a home.  The little dog was so happy.  We gave him food and water which he gratefully devoured and drank.  He followed me everywhere I went,  rolling on the ground in playful antics, absolute trust and happiness shining from his eyes.  It was so touching the way he responded to the love my mother and I gave him.

Through the help of a dear friend who volunteers for Animal Tails Rescue in Luverne, Alabama, we were able to take this little one to them.  They are wonderful in finding forever homes for our furry friends who need our help.  If anyone is looking for a place to volunteer or to donate to a worthy cause, Animal Tails Rescue, a no-kill place of refuge, is most deserving.

It was so hard to let this little one go, and I had only known him for eighteen hours.   He clung to the car seat as I lifted him out, as if he knew I was giving him away.  I felt like I was betraying his trust.  My head was hurting from tears that wanted to burst forth but I determined to be brave. The helper who took him from me spoke soothing words and held him close.   That scene was sweet relief, knowing he would be cared for, but it did little to ease away the pain of my breaking heart.

As the hours passed, I thought of how quickly I had fallen in love with that little, lost dog. I began to compare it with how much you and I are loved by our heavenly Father. We, too, are lost without Him, like a stray pup longing for a home, hoping for a way out of our dismal situations.  Father God has loved us from the moment we entered into this world. When we come to Him with all our fears and worries, He cares — and — He always has a plan for us; a very good plan filled with hope and a good end.

God loves everything He has made.  He loves us more than we could possibly measure.  God loves the animals beyond what many realize.  Sadly, there are those who do not accept God’s animal love, even though it is plainly taught throughout Scripture; “The godly will care for their animals, while the wicked are cruel to them.”  Proverbs 12:10.   I also love the verse in Matthew 10:29 that reads, “What is the price of two sparrows — a penny?  But not a single sparrow will fall to the ground without your heavenly Father knowing it.”  God loves every living creature He has made.  He knows and cares when any animal suffers or dies.  He loves them so much that He has made us the animal’s caretakers.

Father God loves us even more.  From the very moment we are conceived, Father God is forever in love with us.  He cares about our suffering and about what makes us happy.  Our creator God loves us now, has loved us from the beginning, and will love us forever.  Father knows our names and everything about us.

Neither my mother or I slept very well Monday night.  Throughout Tuesday, tears kept jumping into my eyes.  In the late afternoon I commented to my mother about how much I was missing that little puppy.  Mom said the same thing.  We stared at each other for only a moment before agreeing together — let’s go get him!

We’ve had to reorganize things a bit because we have an older, rather ferocious dog, who doesn’t have the same sentiments toward our newest family member as we do.  Even so, we have found a way to accommodate them both, making them each know how much they mean to us.  It seemed impossible, but we made a way for this little lost pup,  reflecting how God does the very same thing for each of us, turning the unreachable into everything achievable.

 

When Giants Arrive

Many of you will know that I returned to the States this week to care for my mother who had been very ill.  She’s weak on the outside, but still the spunky lady within.   Two of her grandchildren cared for her until my arrival.  For all of you who are praying for my mother’s good health to return, I thank you.

It became quickly apparent to me, that besides not feeling well physically, she was stressed emotionally.  Two stray dogs had decided to take up residence.  My whole family love animals.  My mother and her grandchildren were all feeling sorry for the starving, thrown away dogs.  They reported the dogs to the animal shelter, and waited.  Meanwhile, of course, they were feeding the pitiful animals.  I will never understand cruelty to God’s creation.

My mother was sorry for the dogs, but added to that stress, her cat, Blackie, had left home. He had been gone for a week.  Obviously, Blackie could not face or do battle with the two giants that had encroached upon his territory.  I took over the search for Blackie, going out at meal times, calling his name, but to no avail.  I walked over to the barn, calling his name, but no results followed.

Finally, men from the animal shelter arrived and took the dogs away.   The handlers were so kind.  My mother was comforted by this, but now, where was Blackie?   I continued my search.  Last evening, just as dusk was covering the earth in shadows of coming darkness, I went outside.  My gaze travelled over the fields around our house.  Suddenly, I froze to my spot, straining my eyes, focusing on something black and white in the distance.  Could it be?  Was it Blackie?  I began to call his name.  The black and white something stopped, also frozen to the spot.  I called again, and this time the black and white something began to run in my direction.  Yes!  It was Blackie coming home!  I kept calling his name, and he kept running towards me.  He ran across the field, under the fence, past the barn, and up the porch steps.  He rolled over, inviting me to tickle his tummy, I made a great, joyful fuss over his return.  He, too, was making a great, joyful fuss over being back home.  Oh, what joy!

Blackie had been frightened away by the giant dogs entering his world.  He could not cope, so he ran away.  That’s understandable for a little animal in its physical world.  However, it’s a greater sadness for us in our spiritual worlds, when we, too, facing giants in our lives, decide the best course of action is to run away.  Perhaps some seemingly insurmountable something has arrived in our world.  It’s big.  We feel there’s no way out.  We begin to vacate, choosing ways to escape.  Perhaps we withdraw from family and friends.  We become consumed with our problems to the point that we withdraw from our heavenly Father, too.  Now, that’s the real sadness.

You see, our heavenly Father is the only One who has the perfect answers.  He’s the only One who knows the way out.  When giants enter our world, it’s not the time to run away; it’s the time to remember, as it says in Isaiah 59:15-16, “The Lord looked and was displeased to find there was no justice.  He was amazed to see that no one intervened to help the oppressed.  So He, Himself, stepped in to save them with His strong arm.”

Are you surrounded today by walls of difficulty, too high to climb over?  Are you running away from those you love because giants of impossibility have trespassed your peace and calm?  Do you feel no one truly understands?  Do you tell yourself that no one can really cares?  Then, please, look up to your heavenly Father.  I assure you; you will find Him looking back at you.  He wants to help you.  He has the strength that you do not possess.  Wherever you are today — will you listen to your Father?  He’s calling your name.  Run to His protection and guidance.  Run into His arms of strength and love.

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God.  There we will receive mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”  Hebrews 4:16