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The Animal Shelter

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The Animal Shelter
I will never forget the day we rescued our dog from the animal shelter. The excitement started early that morning on a day in March, because finally we were on our way to the animal shelter to ‘rescue’ a dog!!  While we were in the car, Rob reminded me one more time off the fact that we could just take ONE dog and not EVERY SAD LOOKING one home.

About one hour later I found myself in tears at the animal shelter, because there were about 50 dogs behind bars and they were all hoping for the same thing; that someone would care enough about them to open the cage, to let them out and to take them home to live with their family.
 
They all looked so sad and I wondered how I could ever pick one. After walking around for a little while, we stopped at a cage where a black dog was staring at us. She looked like a black Labrador. She didn’t bark like most of the other dogs did, she only wagged her tail and her brown eyes stared hopefully at us. There was something special about here……We were allowed to let her out of her cage and to take her for a walk. Oh! She was so excited to be outside and to play with the children…..and Oh yes!! She was ready to go home with us!
 
That day in March we took our ‘perfect dog’ home to become part of our family and, (of course!!?) it did not take long before I realized that our ‘perfect’ family dog was not perfect at all, because:
  
  • The perfect family dog will always defend his house and his family.
  • Our dog wagged her tail and welcomed any stranger to play with her.
  • The perfect family dog will go after a ball or a stick, bring it back and put it in front of your feet.
  • Our dog will NOT (I mean NOT) bring it back. She will go and get it, chew on it for 2 minutes till it is all slimy and then, and only then, we can have it, but just to throw it again because otherwise she will start barking at us.
  • The perfect dog will stay away from the dinner table when people are eating. NOT our dog. She sat next to our chairs, begging and begging, looking us in the eyes and from our eyes to the plate and back, she would not give up till every plate was empty.
  • The perfect dog sleeps outside or inside on a dog blanket. NOT our dog. The first week she pretended to sleep on the living room floor next to Rob’s chair, but one night when I had to get something from the living room, I happen to notice how our perfect dog was sleeping IN the chair.
  • The perfect dog walks next to you when you take it for a walk. NOT our dog. She keeps pulling her leash, and to be very honest, she loves walking without her leash and IN FRONT of us!!
 
You do understand that we (I) had some ‘fun’ with our perfect family dog.
One rainy morning she came in and wiped her paws on our light colored carpet and when I saw all the dirt she had left behind, I was about ready to attack her!! OOOOHHHHH!!!! Sometimes she could be so annoying!!
I had to remind myself about 20 times that she just needed some training and discipline and patience and that I loved our new dog, I just did not always liked her behavior!

While I was pouring all my anger into scrubbing and cleaning our carpet I heard a voice in my head whispering: “Is she not like you?” “What do you mean I look like the dog?” was my reaction. “No way, I am not like our dog, I am much better then she is! I never misbehaved like she does!” Then the voice whispered again: “Remember how I rescued you?”
 
It made me even more upset thinking about how true this was, and while I almost scrubbed a hole in our living room carpet, tears were streaming down my face as I remembered:
 
How I, just like our dog, used to live in a place that looked like the animal shelter, a dark place without hope, without meaning, a place of desolation and despair, called ‘The People pound’. And just like our dog was waiting to be rescued; I was waiting to be rescued. I was waiting to be saved from the people pound, where I was locked behind my bars of sin just longing for someone to show up. Someone who cared enough to open my cage to take me for ‘a little walk and talk’, and to take me home to live with a family.


After 44 years that ‘someone’ walked into the darkness of the people pound and stopped and opened the door of my cage. I still do not understand why He choose me…..my heart was heavy, my eyes were red and swollen from all the tears I had been crying in that place, my voice was almost gone from all the screaming for help and when I was about to give up….someone came, someone was there!  Together we were standing in the darkness of the people pound and He took me outside into the sunlight for my ‘walk and talk’.  I told Him about all the darkness in my life and I was almost sure He would walk me back to the cage, but then I saw His face and the love that was shining in His eyes just for me! It was Jesus Christ!  He didn’t walk me back to my cage, but He said that He came to take me home to be part of His family.

I knew that my life would never be the same again. Jesus came to rescue me!
This is not the end of the story, but just the beginning of a new one because just like our dog had to learn to trust us, I had to learn to trust in Jesus. Just like we take our dog for walks, Jesus takes me for walks (and ‘many’ talks!) and just like our dog; I had to learn not to walk too fast and not to walk too slow, not in front of Him or behind Him, but next to Jesus. Like we understood our dog’s excitement, Jesus understood and understands my excitement about Him. And believe me: Just like our dog…….I needed (and still need) His love, patience and His discipline.
 
How can I not sing, write and share of His love forever!? Knowing that even though He had not always liked my behavior, He had always loved me!!
I could not take all the dogs home to live with our family, but OH! How my heart cries for all the people who are still living in the people pound waiting to be rescued and I pray that Jesus Christ will use you and me to open up their cages and help them find their way home to become part of His family!!
 
Amen.
As a windmill depends on the wind, so mankind depends on God
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