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Psalm 22:15-17 – My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce my hands and my feet. All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me.

In case you didn’t know it, God works in mysterious ways and has a sense of humor! But what does a dog have to do with the Gospel of Jesus? I’m glad you asked! 🙂

A few weeks ago, a local Facebook friend had done two things. 1) She signed up to help us with the local Bible Reading Marathon that was held the week of July 4th ( Thanks again Vestula!!) 2) She had posted a cute dog that she had rescued and was trying to find a home for him. We had briefly discussed the dog during the reading marathon and then left it at that. Fast forward a week, and that is where the humorous part comes in. I saw the Vestula was still looking for a home for this poor dog, and so I thought I would ask my lovely if she would be interested in going to look at him after work. I sent her a picture and she agreed. She has been wanting a dog for some time, and (I secretly did too) but was very hesitant. I mean I said after the cat passes, NO MORE PETS! (yeah, right).

So I contacted Vestula and asked her if it would be okay to come see him after work, and she agreed. However, around lunch time, she had forgotten she had some other things that she needed to take care of, and she must have whispered in that dogs ears that someone was coming to maybe take him to his fur-ever home, because she contacted me and asked if it could possibly be earlier and he had climbed her fence, bags packed and ready to go apparently. So I called my wife and explained to her the situation, and she agreed to go look at him as I was still at work, so I made arrangements for the two ladies to get together. So about 45 minutes later I tried contacting both of them to see how things went, and got no response. About 10 minutes later Vestula says yup, shes’s been here on on her way to PetSmart…. OH BOY, what did I do!!!

Fast forward another hour and I get a hold of my wife and started talking about names, because this dog was a rescue with no tags, and obviously could not tell us his name. So I told my wife out of thin air, I think we should name him Calvin. Her reply was I thought about that name and some others too. I replied, yeah, but you love the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, and we both like the theologian John Calvin. So we agreed on the name Calvin, or if he gets into trouble as all kids do, John Calvin Hobbes!!

Oh yeah, that’s right, the Gospel of Christ part…

The Psalm above is a future vision of Jesus Christ when He was to be crucified on the cross of Calvary for the remission of sins for sinful people, broken people, wretched people, like I was (and still have the sinful flesh too!). Jesus calls those who were abusing Him and crucifying Him “Dogs that surround Him, a pack of villains encircles Him… All my bones are on display…. people stare and gloat over me.”

Well, come to find out, Calvin was a rescue from a drug house, where dogs were being raised as bait dogs to sell to dog fighters for drug money! I can only assume by the looks of Calvin that he could have been the runt of a litter as he seems a little slow, he is some what malnourished and you can see some of his ribs, and he has possibly already been physically abused. Yet, when he is around people, he is not shy, he is not aggressive, and he just loves on your like crazy! Although Jesus was not rescued from drugs, He too did not have an easy life, especially when He started His ministry and telling people He was the Son of God, the one that had been prophesied about to come and take away the sins of the world! So many (Pharisees and Sadducees and others) would try and trip Jesus up by testing God’s law against Him and could find no fault, so they instead would incite lies and riots to stir up people to the point of bearing false witness, even to death on a cross!

See, you are I are Calvin in a way. Many of our lives are broken, empty, unloved, meaningless, been ran through the ringer and hung out to dry. We need someone to rescue us from our sin and misery, and the rescuer is Christ! He came to die and redeem sinners by His blood so that we might turn from our sins of this world and put our faith and trust in Him and that we would spend all eternity with Him. He loves us that much! If you have already been saved and walking with Christ, are you seeing the Calvin’s around? Ones that need to be helped, lifted up, encouraged by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, do you seek those who you can pray for?

I am thankful that God brought Vestula and Calvin into our lives. 1) We have a new friend and sister in Christ. 2) We have much to learn from a dog who was created by God and yet not like us. He does not have the ability and intellect to think like we do, but is like a child with faith. We get the opportunity to see him grow, and heal instead of the alternative. We get to learn about love, selfless giving, joy, and so much more.

Yup, God sure works in mysterious ways and has a sense of humor alright, and to Him be all the praise, honor, and glory! Amen

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