Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Rescue

“In your distress you called and I rescued you...” Psalm 81:7 (NIV)

Walking on the beach, one sunny morning in Mexico, I came upon a man and his dog (or a dog and his man?) playing in the small waves. The mutt was anything but pretty. He looked like he was haphazardly put together; tail of a retriever, legs of a greyhound, body of a beagle and his head ... well, it could only belong to a mongrel. In spite of his lacking beauty, the dog was glorious to watch. He bounced in and out of the water joyfully, then moved toward the tide pools. The man would point and the dog would investigate, jumping back with surprise occasionally because of some lively critter scurrying under his nose.

As I came closer, the dog bounded toward me, but with one sharp command from his master, the animal stopped. He waited patiently until the man came to him and gave him permission to seek my affection. He was irresistible and I gave him the pats and scratches he hoped for.

I complimented the man on his charming pet, especially his joy and obedience, and the man told me the story of adopting this creature. He had been vacationing with his family in this same beachfront condo exactly three years before when this tiny puppy wandered up to his children on the beach. His first response was to tell the kids not to touch the animal for fear of disease, but after getting a closer look, his heart softened.

“He was about the size of a half gallon milk carton and could barely lift his head,” said the man. “He was skinny and mangy, missing a lot of fur, and had gunky stuff in his eyes.” Hardly an appealing vision, but the man was moved to feed and water the little guy and finally persuaded by his children to bring him home with them.

“We took him to the vet and were told that with treatment he would likely survive, but without, he would die within two days,” the man continued. “We nursed him back to health over the next six months until he was completely well and he’s been the best dog we’ve ever had. I’m still amazed sometimes that he picked us to save him.”

As I walked on down the beach, I thought about how blessed they were to have found each other. It occurred to me how much the man would have missed if he had walked away and left the ugly little puppy to die.

Isaiah 58:8 (NIV) says, “Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”

Sometimes we are not very good looking and maybe have some gunky stuff around our hearts, but God doesn’t hesitate to pick us up and bring us the love and comfort we need to survive. Then he delights in the joy we bring him when we’re better.

“Dear Lord, help me remember that you don’t see me for what I am in sin or sickness, you see me for what I will be when I’m restored. You will never hesitate to pick me up when I’m unable to stand alone, no matter how unattractive I may be to others. Thank you, God, for your mercy.”

Copyright © 2012 Diane Markins. Used by permission.

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