For the first time in about 45 years, I have a puppy. Pray for me.
We adopted her two weeks ago from a Dalmatian rescue foundation. Our choice of names came down to Pinto (like the beans), Toffee and Twix – yes, we were hungry when we were brainstorming. We finally settled on Twix, and she has become the center of our home life, in ways both pleasant and … well … less pleasant. But overall, it has been delightful.
I thought a lot about Twix on a Sabbath drive to the mountains a couple of days ago (I’m not yet up to a Sabbath hike – I’m going to try for that this weekend). I realized that, despite differences in size, gender, and species, Twix and I have a lot in common. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that I see a lot of myself when I look at her. Here are some similarities:
- Rescued from certain death
Like Twix when she was taken away from the San Pedro Dog Pound, I became the object of a rescue mission, mounted by none other than Jesus Christ, who came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). If it weren’t for His intervention in my life, I would be doomed. I hope that I never forget that, and that I never stop thanking Him for it.
Twix now has a new family, and if I do say so myself, one that is pretty amazing. Her life is radically better because of that fact. So is mine. I’ve been adopted into God’s family, becoming one of His sons (Romans 8:15), and in addition to relating to Him as my Father, I have had the indescribable privilege of meeting brothers and sisters in more than 40 different countries. Lately, I’ve been reminded of how supportive and loving that family can be in times of stress and pain. I’m so glad that I have it, and would never want to live without it.
- Given a new name by a new Master
I used to be a little envious of Bible characters like Abram and Cephas, who became Abraham and Peter by the choice of God. It struck me as powerfully intimate to be re-named by God, and I wanted that for myself. Then I read Revelation 2:17, which cryptically predicts that overcomers will receive from Jesus “a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” I can’t say that I know exactly what that means, but I hold out hope that, like Twix, I will receive a new name from my loving Master. I wonder what it will be.
It’s not every day that I compare myself to a dog. But when it comes to Twix, I don’t mind. In fact, I’m glad for what we have in common.
And yes, I do hope to become the man that my dog sees in me. But in an even more powerful way, I yearn to become the man that my Master adopted me to be.
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