God speaks to us and directs our paths in mysterious ways. Ten years ago we were heartbroken over the loss our golden retriever, Copper. We knew we needed to fill the void with a new puppy.
Browsing the internet looking for direction, I came across a tribute photo of a breeder walking with her golden retriever in the woods with their backs to the camera. This breeder had raised many champion golden retrievers but this golden had been her best of the best. My heart was moved with compassion by her photo.
Champion goldens are bred for the show ring. Breeders do not “waste” a pick of the litter as a family pet. However, God put a desire in my heart for a perfect golden from this lineage and He did the impossible. He connected us with a local breeder who “just happened” to have a grandson of this champion. We were blessed with the pick of the litter.
We named our new bundle of joy, Chance. His AKC name was Once in a Blue Moon.
Our gentile giant, loved life and every stranger was his immediate friend. I learned a lot from our years together but most of all . . . Chance was my picture of God’s forgiveness.
He had a gorgeous front mane like a lion and small dogs would often try to go for his jugular which should have been a suicide mission. Chance would walk with them hanging off his mane. He would reach down to lick their little faces to comfort them in their excited frenzy. Chance never needed to forgive because he was totally oblivious to wrongs because of his immense love.
Chance’s Tribute Photograph
When the above photo was taken, I knew that it would be Chance’s tribute photo. While Chance’s grandfather had a picture perfect walk in the woods, Chance’s tribute photo always made me laugh.
Chance, his little dog friends, my husband and my niece were taking a walk after the rain. My little niece was so cute in that photo wearing my husband’s oversized jacket and carrying her yellow umbrella. My niece’s father and I were up on our porch looking down on the scene. We had a God view.
God, the master artist, framed the imperfect scene to capture a moment in our earthly paradise where we were surrounded by His joy and blessings. It is the imperfection that makes this photo of Chance perfect.
The best days are picking up a puppy and the worst days are losing a faithful friend. Dog friendships are always too brief and it was gut wrenching to hear the words “your dog has cancer.”
Again God went before us to prepare the way by sending an angel in the form of a friend. Valerie rescues animals and knows all the natural methods to restore health. She taught us tricks to help Chance eat, drink and stay as comfortable as possible. She helped us give him intravenous fluids in hopes of restoring his strength.
Valerie showed us how to take a wet cloth to “lick” Chance’s face like his mother would have comforted him as a puppy. As I watched her, the picture of Mary anointing Jesus before his death came to my mind. I knew it was God’s way of communicating that this would be our last night with Chance.
With Valerie’s gentle motions of grace, God was with us.
Hearing God In Times Of Grief
During this time of loss, I “just happened” to be taking the Hearing God course with Simi Adigun. When I “tuned to flow,” God gave me this verse of scripture and popped Chance’s tribute photo in my mind.
Colossians 3:1-3 MSG “So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from His perspective.”
My Journal Entry
The Lord said to me:
“If you fix your eyes on the storms in life, you won’t find peace. When you train a dog, dogs will get distracted but your goal is to get them to focus on you as their rock. If you aren’t worried by storms, your dog won’t be worried because you are with them.
It is the same as you walk with Me. Don’t focus on the storms . . . look to Me for your peace. Look to Me for your daily bread. Look to Me for your direction. Find your peace in Me.
You received Chance as a perfect gift. When Chance was walking away, you laughed and saw the beautiful scene before you. You were enjoying the moment. You weren’t afraid of what would happen in the future. You enjoyed My gift. You were open to more gifts.
Enjoy gifts with Me. My mercies are new every day.”
I have prayed for years that God would give me eyes to see and ears to hear Him. Taking the course “Hearing God” with Simi Adigun was an answer to that prayer and prepared us for our loss. The course helped me realize that pictures of tribute photos, pictures of Scripture verses, angels of mercy and words that drop in my mind are God speaking. In joys and sorrows, I can see His goodness and lovingkindess relentlessly pursue me through my heart’s desires, dreams and miraculous circumstances. Psalm 23:6
God is always speaking. Taking the “Hearing God” course will help you recognize God’s voice and record His faithfulness through your life’s journey.