Most people who know Michelle and I, also know we love our Boxer dogs. Before we adopted Faith earlier this year, Heidi was our girl, until she passed almost two years ago. When Heidi was young, she was going to be a show dog. She did one show and won an award for her class. Not long after that, Heidi injured her hip while wrestling with Winston, her brother. This injury resulted in a show career-ending limp.
Heidi’s breeder Bill adopted her out to what he believed to be a suitable home. A few weeks later, when Bill checked on Heidi, he discovered she was being abused. Bill brought Heidi back home and spent the next few months trying to restore Heidi’s confidence and playfulness, before sending her our way.
That should have been the happy ending to the Heidi story, but unfortunately, there was one more sad chapter to come. Not long after Heidi arrived to stay with us, we moved home. During the move, one of the removalists left the door open to the outside. Just at that moment, lightning struck nearby, giving Heidi such an awful fright, that she just started running and did not stop until she was well and truly lost.
We spent the next several days looking and phoning and hanging up posters, all to no avail. We lost hope of ever seeing Heidi again, believing that she had possibly been struck down by a car, and hoping that a loving family may have found her and decided to keep her.
Then, about two weeks after she disappeared, Bill called us. He had been contacted by our local vet, who thought she was our missing dog. The information stored on a chip implanted into Heidi led back to Bill and soon we would see Heidi again. When Heidi ran away in panic, she made it to the next district about fifteen kilometers away, and for two weeks scavenged near a farmhouse. The people had noticed Heidi and left food for her trying to gain her confidence. Finally, after a few days, they were able to catch her and brought her into the vet.
When we arrived at the Vet’s, we were stunned to see how poorly Heidi was. She had lost over a third of her body weight in just 15 days. Her paws were tender and her coat was dull and shabby. In stark contrast were the wagging of her tail and the delight in her face when she spotted us from the other end of the corridor.
Heidi came home as a changed dog. Open doors were nothing to her now. The only place she wanted to be, was in sight of Michelle or I. For the rest of her life, we remained Heidi’s safe place.
As I read Psalm 23, I see that God is our safe place. He leads us, He feeds us, He refreshes us and He rests us. Even more importantly He protects us. I think the only truly bad thing that could happen is if we were to be separated from Him.
Being lost is a terrible thing! It means a directionless life, no certainty of provision, weariness of the soul, and deep hunger that is never satisfied. Because the Lord is our shepherd, we shall never be in want. How good is that? The question is, are you still lost, or have you been found and reunited with the One who cares for you?