Disabled Dogs Teach Lesson in Endurance

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They all could quit so easily, but they don’t. As my faith is tested daily in pursuing God’s call on my life to preach the Gospel, teach the Bible, write and publish Christian books and online, work with the homeless and other people in need, do streets ministry wherever the Lord calls me, and care for 16 mostly special needs and senior rescued dogs, God uses the dogs to teach me countless lessons – like His ongoing lesson in endurance. Perseverance. Not quitting. Pressing on. Pressing forward. Continuing. When my flesh is screaming JUST QUIT, God calls me to endure. And daily, He shows me through these very special dogs what endurance looks like.

A recent trip to Hilton Head Island’s beach
with paralyzed dogs Miss Mercy and Mr. Simeon, and disabled dog Winnie,
ever ready for opportunities to share the Gospel and minister the Lord’s love to a world in need……

One-eyed, blind Glory can’t see, but she walks by faith. Paralyzed Mr. Simeon can’t walk or move barely at all without his wheelchair, but he trusts me to provide for him. Paralyzed Miss Mercy can only drag without her wheelchair, but she gets everywhere she needs to go. Two-footed Winnie can only go short distances because she hauls her body up in the air with one leg pressing down periodically as though it were a foot, but she never quits getting to where she wants to be. Traveler only has three legs, but he can run and play and walk and enjoy his life just like any other dog. Disabled, senior Little Miss Miracles crosses her front feet back and forth to move at an incredibly slow pace, but this never stops her.

Dancer, who was found on a three foot chain without food and water,  didn’t let his past get in the way of all the joy he experiences in the present. Freckles is missing some toes, but he doesn’t look in the mirror and call it quits because he doesn’t look like every other dog in the world. Esther was as skinny as a rail when she was found at a hunting club where the caretaker thought the hunters might kill her, but none of her background stopped her from being a total sweetheart to all people. Elijah was tied up by his back foot, went through major cancer several years back, and then what may have been cancer again, but is more concerned with his everyday life than anything he ever went through. Oh, and the list goes on.

The Walk by Faith Ministry dogs never look at their challenges as challenges, their obstacles as obstacles, their differences as differences, their disabilities as disabilities. They just rise every morning, demand their breakfast, and begin with their everyday activities of enjoying their day to day lives.

When I am out in public with the paralyzed dogs in their wheelchairs, people constantly make pitying comments about the dogs. They feel so extraordinarily sorry for them, and I always have the same response. The dogs are so joyful, and so happy, and yes, so healthy. For unlike people who constantly compare themselves to everyone else and look at what they are missing instead of what they have, the dogs do not think of themselves based on what they lack. They are so very thankful for all that they have, most especially their lives. Most of the Walk by Faith Ministry dogs would have been euthanized in overcrowded shelters or due to their disabilities, but God gave each and every one of them new lives. Joyful lives full of thanksgiving.

How humbled I am to think how God gave me, too, new life through faith in Jesus Christ after an extraordinarily challenging past. If only I were continuously as joyful and thankful as these dogs, and if only I would remember the vital importance of endurance. But alas, when I fall short in these areas, God is always there to remind me – if not directly in His Word, by His voice, if not through an encouraging friend or even a stranger, He will use one if not all of the  Walk by Faith Ministry dogs to place His loving hand on my shoulder and whisper into my heart and ears a loving reminder.

Endure, my child. Endure! Carry on! Continue! Press forward! 

Is God speaking to you now…………………………….?

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 NASB

Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.

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