God and Dogs!
Dogs have been companions to man for millennia. Scientists tell us that it has been a mutually beneficial arrangement: each aiding the survival of the other. Dogs have lived and worked with humans in so many roles that they have earned the unique nickname, ‘man's best friend’. Today it is even acknowledged that owning or coming into regular contact with a dog is beneficial to health. Interestingly, similar research has also shown that having a belief in God is also beneficial to health. People worry less and are more content and have a more caring attitude to those around them which is good for everyone.
Many years ago a little girl, who was learning to spell at the time, rushed in to ask her Grandma if she realised that the word dog if you spelt it backwards spelt God and wasn’t that fantastic! Grandma was a little puzzled and asked her why it was so fantastic. ‘Well,’ she said, ’it means that every time I meet Billy I don’t have to be scared because he reminds me of Jesus!’ (I should at this point explain that her Father was a MOD dog handler and Billy was his very large German Shepherd attack dog). With some trepidation Grandma asked just why Billy reminded her of Jesus and, as they say, out of the mouths of babes came quite a profound response: ‘Well, he might be big and a bit scary but Billy loves Daddy so much that he would die to save him from being hurt. And that’s what Jesus did for me.’
Whilst it is true that there are ‘problem dogs’, just as there are ‘problem people’, perhaps within that little girl’s words there is something to ponder on. When a dog is well-trained it becomes a faithful, loving, forgiving, loyal companion. Pet dogs take us as we are, they want to be close to us, they forgive us when we take our frustration out on them and shout at them, they give us unconditional love, and just like Billy many dogs would die to protect their owner. Surely this a reflection of our God who wants to be close to us, who forgives us and gives us unconditional love and who sent His Son to die for us.