God just never ceases to amaze me.... Two stories.
When I was going through my files looking for the HS pic and found the one below, I happened upon a picture of Bear, the German Shepherd that we had years ago (pictured in the post below). I was struck at how similar he and Taser look and decided to take Taser's picture in a similar pose. (You would not believe how DIFFICULT that was with a hyperactive dog who was FAR more interested in licking the camera lens than posing for a pic.)
But it got me to thinking ...
About 20 years ago we had to give Bear away. He had been my "baby" and was truly part of our little family. But we had been asked to leave a church in Alabama - truth be known, we were kicked out - and had to move. From that experience, we lost nearly everything. We had been living in a parsonage and had to move out of it so we lost our home. Brian was the pastor so we lost our only source of income. We lost our church. We lost friends because we had to move in with my parents several states away and this was before email and IM's and free long distance on cell phones. And finally, we lost our dog. I remember being very angry with God and telling Him how much I resented losing everything on account of Him. Afterall, we were only trying to serve Him to the best of our ability. And I remember feeling as if He were promising me that everything we had lost would be replaced. I do not ascribe to the "name it and claim it" or the "give to get" brand of Christianity, but I did feel that whatever we had lost for His sake would be returned to us.
In the years since, I've watched that promise be fulfilled. We are in a far better house. The parsonage had mismatched, long shag carpet and a dishwasher that the sewer backed up into. Now I live in my dream home which means a great deal to me because my husband built it with his own hands. We have a far better church. I don't know for sure, but I think the people in our church like us. They must to have put up with us for 20 years. That is a much different situation than we had in Alabama.
Many other things have been returned as well - all to a far greater degree than we had before. But in the past 20 years there has always been one piece that just seemed to be missing - my dog. We've had other dogs since then - all of them wonderful dogs. But they weren't German Shepherds. New Year's Eve of this past year I got Taser and felt that finally that last piece of the promise was fulfilled. At the time I had no idea what Taser would look like when she grew up. It didn't really matter. She was not the cutest pup of the litter. In fact, she was the smallest and most sickly looking - not a good choice if you're trying to be smart about picking a pup. But I fell in love with her the moment I saw here so it was her that we brought home. She is now 9 months old and her markings are almost identical to Bear's. We could not have planned that but God knew.
Then tonight something else happened ....
For the past few weeks we have been collecting money for school supplies and backpacks for the children in the village at the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. I had purchased the last of the school supplies today and had spent all of the money that had come in. I still needed to buy backpacks - 150 of them at about $10.00 each. In short - I needed $1,500.00. I was starting to get nervous, wondering where the money would come from. Then tonight I went to church and by the time I left, I had the entire $1,500.00 in my pocket! The strange thing it - it was the exact amount we needed - to the penny!