Janet and I have been married for almost 45 years, and during that time I don’t think we have been without a canine companion in the house for more than several months during our entire marriage – until last year. Last July, our Doberman, Lexie, died and neither of us was ready to bring another dog into the house. But, as the end of the year came around, Janet felt the nagging desire to once again rescue a Doberman and we began the search.
We were put in touch with a home that was fostering a two year old Red Doberman named Hank. We weren’t ready to pursue adopting Hank until the holidays were over and so, on December 29th, in the middle of a snowstorm, we headed to Urbana, Illinois and met this particular dog. We wound up adopting him and bringing him home with us that day.
We have been through this same routine many times since we adopted our first two dogs about a month after we were married back in 1973. So we once again filled out the paperwork, went through the formal adoption process, made the requisite vet appointments and even changed the microchip ownership information. We decided that since Hank knew his name, we wouldn’t change it. When it was all said and done, Hank was a member of the Toussaint family.
During the last two months, we have started to acclimate him to our lives and the way that our household runs. Hank knows when we go to bed and what to expect at mealtimes. He wakes up and has his favorite places to lay in the sunlight streaming through our front windows. We have had some challenges with various skin allergies and, thankfully, we think that we are on the right track to get all those issues eventually resolved – training has commenced in earnest.
I can sympathize with Hank in that he has already been surrendered twice and is just now getting comfortable in our home. Of course, we don’t know what he went through the first two years of his life but we are working hard to successfully transition him into our home. In fact, his personality is starting to come out and he is becoming more protective of Janet and me.
While that is great on one hand, we want our friends and family to feel welcome in the house. And they are all new to Hank so we will have to go through an introduction process with each person. Such is the way with Dobermans. They are highly protective and if anyone would think to rob our home, it may be easier for them to try somewhere else. Aside from the obvious protective value of having a large 88 pound dog in the house, Hank provides great company for Janet when I am on the road traveling. She doesn’t worry with Hank in the house. With us he is a great addition to our family and restores a piece of our lives that we missed after the death of Lexie.
As I consider this issue of protection, I can’t help but be reminded of how God zealously protects us. The Scripture is quite clear that we are made in the image of God and that we belong to Him. Since He loves us more than we can imagine, it stands to reason that God wants to protect us. There are numerous verses that speak to the protection of the people of God but none describes it, in my opinion, as well as our verse for tonight.
The apostle John tells us in his Gospel, speaking about Jesus, in John 10:28-30, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” In other words, Jesus is not going to let anything happen to us. He takes care of us and protects us from Satan. Of course, we have free will and can refuse the love and protection of Christ, spending eternity separated from Him. But that’s not the choice most of us make.
My encouragement tonight is that Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit are fiercely protective of us. That is a result of the love of God toward His people. And while Hank may be growing more protective of us, it is nothing compared to the way that God cares for us. My prayer is that we may be equally protective of one another and that we will recognize the love of Christ in our lives. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…