In the last four months, many of you have followed me on Facebook and commented on “The HOPIE Journals” As it was, last Passover of 2014, I heard an animal yelling out in pain as I stood on my front porch. It appeared to be just down the road from me, so the exploration began. As I walked to follow the weak, injured sounding yelps, I soon discovered a small puppy stuck between a fence and a briar bush. She was caught up off the ground, dangling and utterly hopeless.
After freeing the poor thing from a terrible demise, I took her into my arms and instantly she nestled in. She had me from the first nuzzle. This little puppy could not have been more than 4-5 weeks old. Afterward, I took her inside, laid her on a soft towel and fetched her some water, in which she drank up slowly.
Things went into action immediately afterward as I called hubby and told him about the poor little thing. He just sat quietly on the other end of the phone. You see, I was praying for God to help me find the perfect lap dog, and by the looks of this puppy, she was a Blue Heeler, and definitely did not fit the description of a lap dog in any way. I told him I was taking her to the Vet as she appeared dehydrated and covered with ticks and fleas. He agreed to meet me there.
Hopie is a tricolor Blue Heeler and once folks got a glimpse of her at the veterinarian's office the ooh’s and awe’s resonated throughout the waiting area. She was a cute little thing.
The receptionists asked, “What’s her name?”
“I don’t know, I just rescued her…”
“Well, we need a name for the charts.” She asked anxiously.
I looked down at her thinking of how hopeless she was when I rescued her and replied, “Hopie…, her name is HOPIE!”
Now, anyone who is a dog lover and understands this breed, also knows that Blue Heelers are very defensive of their owners and usually bond with one person. Hopie has been my shadow since day one and brought me immense joy! My hubby has admitted that she is a great dog, obedient, smart and has some quirkiness to her, but all around, she has been lots of fun.
In the midst of my time recuperating from a car accident, she has laid by my side and wanted to play and has kept me a bit active, something I need but often dread, as walking does accentuate the pain, as well as sitting too long. God knew what He was doing when he sent Hopie our way.
Now, let’s switch gears here for a moment and talk about Hopie’s rescue. I heard her cries, followed the yelps and rescued her from what the Vet said was a dire situation. Hopie had to have an IV and several shots to get better, and she recuperated very quickly.
I ask you this, “What about the cries of those who are yelping spiritually around us?”
Many will say they hear nothing of the sort. Let me say that as we meet people in the marketplace, or as we just remain still and quiet, we can hear their hearts, their hurts, their needs, but many of us refuse to respond. Why? Because to respond to those hurting requires sacrifice on our part. What will happen at our lack of response to their needs? Sure death, as the Vet told me that Hopie was weak and would have surely died without my intervention.
Do you know how many people die and go to hell because we refuse to intervene? A large part of people that we pass on highways, see in the marketplace and even in church will find themselves face to face with God one day and I dread to even think of what the outcome will be.
We see in Matthew,
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7: 13-14)
You see, we can’t put our faith in our baptism, church membership, penance, communion, or even our good deeds, like saving a puppy from sure death. We must put our faith in Christ alone if we are going to be saved from a very real hell.
Some of you reading this right now have done just that. You have counted upon your church attendance or baptism to save you! Dear one, I have only one answer to those who seek and have yet not found eternal life, and that is Christ alone!
Our responsibility as believers is plainly commanded in Matthew 28: 18-20,
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NAS)
Are we going? Are we baptizing? Are we teaching?
You see, real salvation leads us as believers to go, to baptize, and to teach others about an actual relationship with Jesus Christ! False Christianity has no real relationship with Christ, but simply goes through the motions believing that actions or works will will save them.
It has been my relationship with Christ that has brought me through some very difficult times of my life. Before sitting to write this, I was in a deep amount of pain, but as I write, the pain is barely noticeable and I realized as Paul wrote, “For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”” (Romans 1: 17) NAS
Did you know that in Acts 14:19, Paul was stoned and then left for dead, but God raised him up, and the next day he walked at least twenty miles into the next town and started preaching again? Imagine the faces of those who stoned him.
There is nothing impossible with Christ, and I am living proof! God seems to use these times in my life all the more to reveal His grace and mighty power through me—all praise to GOD! These times of refining cause me to be more dependent upon Him, and to listen, as well as obey more readily.
As a side note, before I finished writing this, one of my prayer warriors called me and prayed for me. It was very touching to know that God had laid on her heart to call when I needed intervention for my well-being right now.
Now, back to the lesson for today: Hopie has become a great dog, who also obeys most of the time and other times with a little persuasion. Once we understand the predicament we are in without Christ, we soon learn all the more about the love of God, the mercy of God, the grace of God and the discipline of God in times of trouble. I love God’s discipline, as it has brought me to new heights and carried me to places that I never could have dreamed of. His discipline is gentle, firm, fair and delivered with an abundance of love. I ask God daily to discipline me, show me, reveal to me His will and way so that I can follow Him, and be a vessel of His presence pouring out upon others around me. I hunger for His presence daily.
Why am I so hungry to remain in His presence? I suppose it is much like Hopie who desires to stay right by my side, or in my shadow constantly. She has found safety with me as I have found safety with Christ. I too want to remain in His shadow, following Him all the way!
by Jane Morin
About the Author
Jane Morin is an international speaker, worship leader, Bible teacher, and award-winning author. Her latest re-release, The Weapons Of Our Warfare is now available on Kindle Books! Learn how to fight the "fight of faith" effectively and snatch up your copy today!