He saved my life

If you could say of someone, “He saved my life,” that is definitely a person you would hold in high esteem and would react with great excitement whenever you saw him (or her).

Some of us spent last week at annual conference for our church at Lakeside, Ohio. Now, of course, annual conference is a time to take care of the business of the church but I still go there anticipating reuniting with friends from years gone by. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t. With nearly 2,000 people in attendance, it’s a wonder you do find a few of those you are looking for.

For the past several years, I’ve set aside one evening to look up my friend, Norton, who lives on Catawba Island. He is usually very calm and keeps his mind on his work, but when he sees me and hears my voice, he goes ballistic! You see, Norton is one of the dogs I fostered when I was volunteering with Assistance Dogs.

I had been contacted by phone and asked if I would be interested in taking him. Though I didn’t know the dog, I love dogs and the answer was a no-brainer; of course I would take him. “Well, he has been pretty sick and is still at the hospital. Can you pick him up there?”

At the hospital, I picked up a tall white dog with the curly coat of a poodle. This Goldendoodle (cross between Golden Retriever and Standard Poodle) was way past thin! He was skinny! Just skin and bones. You could count every rib through that curly coat.

He was still in recovery and I always thought the hospital personnel questioned if he would survive. He was on a very strict diet – very small portions of canned food directly from the hospital. Nothing else. No treats. Just his prescribed diet and water.

After a few days of TLC, he picked up a little energy and began to enjoy exploring the backyard. A couple of weeks later, he was actually beginning to get hungry. I knew it, but what could I do? He was required to stay on his prescribed diet.

Then one day this rangy, lanky dog took things into his own paws. He decided if I couldn’t meet his hunger needs, he would take care of it himself. While exploring the backyard, he had discovered the apple tree would drop some fruit from time to time.

That didn’t really help much, however, because deer quickly cleaned up the ground falls. As he studied the tree, he was convinced there was food to be had. So he stood on his hind legs and picked an apple! It didn’t hurt him any and did tell us he was definitely feeling better.

I nursed him back to health, kept him in foster care and socialized him until he went back for final training and to be placed with a client. He has been with her for about five years and she reports him to be a calm, quiet influence in her life – always alert to her needs and doing more than he was ever trained to do.

Still, when he sees me, he is anything but calm. I believe, and so does his client, he credits me with saving his life, just being there to love him and see to his needs when he was so very sick. As we visit, he does finally settle down so I can pet him, but it’s a struggle because he is so very excited to see the one he esteems so highly.

We should show that kind of excitement when we see Jesus at work in our lives. It’s the same picture – once we say “yes” to Him, He becomes the one who saves our lives. Let’s show a bit of excitement about this wonderful arrangement with our Lord and Savior!

Get excited about Him! Wag your tail and be slow to settle down to your usual calm demeanor. Jesus is worth celebrating! Because you, too, can say, “He saved my life!”