Every year I write at least one column about my dog, Buddy, a tri-color Pembroke Corgi that found his way into our home four years ago. Animal Control picked him up off the streets of Fort Worth, skinny and sick. They called Corgi Rescue, and they called us. When we met him it was love at first sight. We adopted him, kennel cough and all. He was more of a puppy then, less than 2-years-old, I think. Now he is approaching middle age in dog years. He is not as fast as he once was, though our daughter’s poodle could always run rings around him, and he carries a little more weight in his mid-section.
Buddy has a way of teaching me things about God if I take the time to listen and watch and reflect on our relationship. Shortly after we adopted him, he told me his story: how he got lost on the streets of Fort Worth, was befriended by Barney the Bloodhound and ended up in “dog jail” when the “dog police” caught up with them. I wrote it down for my grandchildren and published it as an e-book on Amazon, Buddy the Floppy Ear Corgi. Our next door neighbor read it to his 10-year-old daughter who took it to school where the teacher read it to her class. “One boy cried,” she said. In his story, Buddy encourages animal rescue and teaches us to accept ourselves and others just the way God made us.
Recently Buddy and I went fishing in my flat bottom fishing boat. The front of the boat is his. He stands in the front and sniffs the wind to locate the fish. He is good at it. Bored with my inability to catch the fish that he knew were there, he decided to jump to a nearby log and fell in. Corgis aren’t built for water. Their stubby legs don’t give much traction for swimming. He coughed, sputtered, went under and splashed for all he was worth until I grabbed him by the collar and hauled him back into the boat, soaked and shivering.
It reminded me of Peter’s experience when he leapt from the fishing boat to meet Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. I expect Peter was a better swimmer than Buddy, but there he was splashing and floundering around in the sea, helpless, until Jesus reached out, lifted him up and hauled him back into the boat.
God is always doing that for me, many times and many ways. Across the years I have fallen out of the boat financially, unable to sleep at night worrying about how to make ends meet. I have fallen over my head in work, overwhelmed by responsibilities and challenges I felt I could not meet. I have found myself drowning in grief with the loss of someone I love. It is comforting to know that whenever I fall out of the boat, God is there.
Every time I have fallen into waters over my head, He has pulled me up and hauled me back into the boat. He is strong enough to save me and He will not let me drown in the circumstances that threaten to overwhelm me.
Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but be of good courage, I have overcome the world.” Jesus’ followers said, “What kind of man is this that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. He may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Visit his website at www.tinsleycenter.com