Later that month she got a very special assignment from her master. She was to work a barn, chasing and ultimately "eliminating" rodents. A Jack Russel's dream. She trusted her master enough by now to know that if he didn't give her dinner, there was certainly a bigger treat to look forward to, so she willing endured the fast on the day before the big job. Slowly dawned the big day. A car ride into the country.... their favorite. Jumping out of the car, her senses were greeted with familiar smells and sounds that held promise for supreme adventure. Once all those wussy horses were put to pasture, she was locked behind the big wooden doors... let the hunting begin!! She enjoyed a full day of chasing and ridding the barn of its unwelcome squatters, until she found a hole she had not before known... Right at the base of the barn wall, this intriguing hole going deep into the ground... beckoning... arousing curiosity... could it be???? Did my master design this day with a fox hunt hidden in the midst of the work? Another sniff and she could restrain herself no longer. Down she went. At first it seemed just fine, normal dimensions, easily navigable... But after a few minutes of scurrying down the dark, dank tunnel, it narrowed, and narrowed, and before she knew it, she was stuck!! Meanwhile, her master was looking for her above, in the barn. Pleased with the work she had done, he was fetching her for dinner and to return home for a nice warm bath. But she was gone. Perplexed, he began to call for her, and clap his hands,whistle. She could hear him faintly, and sensed the concern in his voice. With her dwindling air supply, she began trying to bark and growl. His calling and clapping ceased. A moment of silence, then a strange rumbling could be heard above. Several feet deep underground in the tunnel, she began to feel an intense vibration, and soon some scraping noises. After several minutes of this, she sniffed freedom! Her master had gotten a front end loader and was digging through the earth to rescue her!! Soon she was free, and her master was enjoying the tremendous relief of having his precious friend back, safe and sound, she was enjoying the dish of food he had prepared for her. In the car ride home, she contentedly snuggled into her master, contemplating her lot in life. How lucky she was to have a master that could and would rescue her from a dark and dank grave. She thought back to the day she had chased a squirrel into the street, and just as the impact with the car caused her to summersault over, she saw her master nearly get hit by a car as well, he had chased her into the street as she chased the squirrel into the street... How distraught he became at that little nick in the eyebrow that bled so much. It became evident to her that her master would never let her down. Why, he would even let himself get hurt to protect her! His arms of protection were just always there, it seemed that right when she had gotten herself into trouble that she could not escape, he was right there to help her. Her devotion grew.
Well, the years passed, the love continued. Her master never did let her down. She knew he never would - she would beam with pride when she saw her peers trusting in lesser masters. She also felt a keen sense of sorrow for their lot. No master was as good, as trustworthy or as faithful as hers.
As she aged, the word "wait" was finally admitted to her vocabulary. Now it seemed she did a lot of waiting. Her master no longer expected her to work, her aging body was becoming less agile, more painful. Her life seemed to become more memory than new escapades. Her vision grew dim. Her master would go off to work every day and she would be left to wait. She would keep herself content through the day with thoughts of how wonderful her master is, and patiently await his arrival. She was always the first thing her master wanted to see when he came home from work. One day she was outside when he arrived, and although she could not see him, she heard his voice. Her tail sprang up and she began to trot into the direction she heard him call her name. Suddenly she was surprised by feeling her master's grip. She could not tell that his voice had bounced off the house across the street and she was chasing it - right into the street. But her master saved her. She beamed with pleasure.
As she waited, she also lost her hearing. But she was so content with her day being filled with contemplation of her worthy master, that she failed to notice. She still knew his arrival by his scent. That was always the best part anyway. His scent lingered on her after she spent a lot of time very close to him. Every night at bedtime, she waits for the shirt her master wore that day to be her blanket. To be wrapped in the scent of her master was all she needed for a night of sweet dreams. The years continued to pass, and there are days now that she cannot walk. But she need only make her needs known, and her master is right there to help her. After her master carries her to her food, or outside to do her business, and carries her back in, he always snuggles her more, which allows her coat to retain more of his scent. To her delight, now she can enjoy his scent even without the shirt - it is as if she is wearing him!
During her long days, she ponders... many memories, many hunting dreams. To observe her, it appears that she has remained so content with the hope and promise of her master's return, that she has not noticed what the years have claimed. In fact, each loss has brought her greater provision, and allowed her to witness a display of even greater devotion of her master, almost as if her loss has actually enabled a more precious gain. I can't help it draw parallels to the precious gift of following Christ as my Master. If I allow my mind to be renewed by His Word, provide ample opportunity for my spirit to feed on His presence through prayer, my experience can transcend the pain and disappointment that the world so frequently dispenses. Oh, I enjoy life, my family and friends, and the world, but if its momentary pleasures are the sum total of what I live for, what have I left when it falls? What hope and promise does a memory hold? In Christ, the memory lives - - my redeemer lives - - the hope is alive.
The more my focus is Him, the greater is my joy, the more distant is my pain, the more real is my hope.
2 Corinthians 4:16
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."