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Running With The World

Good morning. It is Thursday, January 6, 2022. Jeanette Stark here.

I have been asked to give the children’s story at church this weekend. I think I will talk about a dog.

Now, this dog just showed up on our property about 2 months ago. Maybe 6 weeks ago. She is black, maybe Black Lab mix. She looked cold, wet and scared. She had deep scars across the top of her muzzle, and she was hungry. She had a collar, so we knew she belonged to someone.

My grandson went door to door trying to find the owner. He also posted her picture on Facebook and soon a friend suggested she knew where the dog belonged. She stated the dog always ran loose on her road. My grandson wrote a note and put it on the gate of the potential owner. No word. Days went by and no word. He would drive over, and the note would still be on the gate.

Almost two weeks went by but eventually he got in touch with the owner. The owner said he was gone a lot and told my grandson that the dog “will just crawl under the gate.” Which she did. She almost beat my grandson home that day.

You see, she had found a home that cared about her. My grandson kept her with him while we were looking for the owner. He had invited her into his room that first night and she immediately made herself at home on his bed. I gave him some dog food for her which she quickly devoured. Her owner did not care about her, and I imagine she was just looking for love and attention and food. He fell in love with her.

Soon the snows came, and we moved a doghouse where she could get into it during the day if she needed. And she did. She crawled right in and made herself at home. My grandson added a couple of warm blankets.

She has become a fixture on our property. We have tried chaining her up, so she does not run around, but she gets out of her collar every time. She still has this deep desire to run. Although we have given her everything she needs.

We are much like this dog. We are running with the world. We are tired and cold and hungry and thirsty. We have deep scars from wounds past and present. We run from place to place looking for comfort, just for someone to love us and care about us, until one day we run into Jesus.

Jesus then invites us to come to him for rest and comfort. “Come to Me…and I will give you rest….and you will find rest for your souls…” - Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV

He feeds us and gives us something to drink. “And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 NKJV

He offers us shelter. “For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.” Psalm 27:5 NIV

And Psalm 91:1 “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” - NIV

He looks at our hurts and our scars and He heals us. Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” – ESV

And just like the prodigal son many times we walk away from Him and all the riches He offers and just like the Father of that son, He runs to us when we decide to return home.

This dog thinks she has found her people. The way she searches your eyes when you talk to her. The way she leans into you when you pet her. She is showing her love the best way she can. I do not know her name; I call her ‘girl’. I have no idea how long she will stay, and I pray she does not get hit on the road on one of her many jaunts, but as long as she keeps showing up, we will keep showing her love.

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