I’ve been putting it off, but it’s time to write my most difficult article so far. Our faithful friend died last week. Jack the dog now lies buried in the garden. Most of our friends know, but I apologise if this comes as a shock to you – and especially your children who loved him so much.
Dog-lovers will connect with our grief. Perhaps others will not. All I can say is that this is probably the most painful event our family has suffered in 13 years. I’m not going to go into the events of last week (my heart is very heavy as I write this), but instead I’d like to focus on three lessons Jack taught us.
I saw this picture on a church door last week. What’s the message?
What came to my mind was the story of a child talking in church. An adult told him to be quiet. The child asked, “Why? Will I wake God up?”
But God does not snooze on the job, “He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber;” (Psalms 121:3 NIV11)
Now, does this reassure you? Or frighten you? If the idea that God is always vigilant disturbs you, might it be because you see this as the equivalent of celestial CCTV? “CCCTV”. Perhaps you’ve seen the T-shirt slogan: “Jesus is coming back. Look busy.” There is an idea abroad that God is keeping an eye on us and we’d better shape up.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV11)
When we are weak we are strong – and God gets the glory. What does this mean, and how does this work? I suggest three steps: