We took in an infant puppy who was the runt of the litter and languishing. For some reason or another, the puppy was not nursing or growing while the other puppies in the litter were thriving. My husband and I both have a heart for the hurting and wounded, so we offered to take the puppy home and see if we could nurse her back to health. She slept a lot, her vision didn’t seem to be working, and her back legs did not have the strength to hold her up. We prepared for the worst.
One day I noticed something new when I went to retrieve her from the nest of blankets I made her. She noticed I was there and lifted up her head. Then, she walked toward me as her tail began to wag. It was a spark of life that we were all very excited to see. Now, the puppy is thriving and full of all the mischief puppies are full of. We have moved on from preparing for the worst to potty training.
I have a three-year old daughter and a seven-month old son, so my hands are full as it is. Throw a puppy into the mix and things get pretty exciting around here, for lack of a better way to put it. Let’s just say I think I figured out why my hair keeps falling out.
I have slowly been increasing the amount of time the puppy spends in the backyard with the older dog. I have been feeling better about taking my eyes off of her for certain amounts of time while I tend to the needs of the rest of this household. One day, I got distracted with a very cranky baby boy. As soon as my son was snoozing soundly, I went to retrieve the puppy from the backyard.
Usually she is waiting by the back door for me, but she was not there this time. I called her name and scanned the perimeter of the fence. She wasn’t anywhere. The older dog came to sit next to me and scan the horizon, too. When the older dog is in our sight, the puppy is often right behind her nipping at her haunches. My heart pounded and I started bracing myself as my search became a little more frantic.
Just when my mind had gone through all of the worst case scenarios, that little bugger came around the corner of the house with her tail wagging. I could breathe again! I scooped her up and brought her into the house to hold her in my lap a bit. I did not care where she had just been, I was glad she was in my arms, safe and sound.
Those few, frantic minutes of searching around the yard for the puppy called to mind the search of the Shepherd when He loses sight of one of His sheep…
Matthew 18:12-14 says:
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
My purpose for doing this and for being here is to reach at least one person who is walking through the dark and in need of a voice to help point to the Way out. Sometimes, we just need someone to come along and walk with us.
I am an imperfect wife and mother who has experienced complete brokenness. I have a heart to see the Shepherd reunited with His sheep. I feel the most content when my children, husband, cat, and dogs are where they are supposed to be and when their needs are met. I imagine the way Jesus feels about His sheep is probably not a whole lot different.
If you really want to get a grasp on how precious you truly are, I highly recommend “A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23” by W. Phillip Keller*. You can view excerpts from the book over here. I have worked through this book several times and I have not grown tired of it yet.
You do have a Shepherd and He is constantly searching for the one lost sheep to come Home.
Thank You for the Good Shepherd, sent to tend Your flock. May the lost sheep out there hear Your voice and start walking toward the Light.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
*I am not peddling anything; just genuinely love that book!