Lessons From the Hurricane Hound: Part II
By Wendy Lanier
CBN.com In the days before a hurricane comes ashore, those of us who live in coastal communities go on a sort of autopilot. We keep right on working and going to school and generally try to carry on business as usual.
All the while we’re keeping one eye on the Gulf and simultaneously making plans for the possibility of landfall in our area. The plans usually involve stocking up on supplies or making reservations somewhere safely inland. It depends on whether you’re planning to hunker down or turn tail and run.
If there was one thing we all learned from Hurricane Katrina it was there is a fair amount of wisdom in running. (I knew this all along and have been a firm advocate of running for years.)
When it became clear Hurricane Rita had taken a bead on our little part of the Gulf Coast last September, we put our plan into motion. Having relatives who live 200 miles inland makes the decision a no-brainer. We ran.
Adding another canine member to the family is usually not part of the evacuation plan. Especially not an injured canine. And yet, this is exactly what we found ourselves doing in the face of oncoming Hurricane Rita.
There was no question our "Miss Brooks” (as she came to be called because we found her on Brooks Road) was in dire need of saving. Not only was a storm approaching, but she was badly hurt, probably as a result of being thrown from a moving vehicle.
By adding Miss Brooks to the mix, the evacuation thing took on a whole new dimension. I mean one dog is plenty. Two is a bit unnecessary, but three is just over the top to my way of thinking.
As it turned out there was purpose in it. Even while I was still shaking my head in wonder at the situation, the Lord began to speak to me in an unexpected way using Miss Brooks as an object lesson. Now my job was to pay attention.
Shortly after we arrived at the safety of my parents’ home, I took Miss Brooks to a local veterinarian to have her injuries treated. The conversation in the doctor’s waiting room revealed that many of us were in the same boat. We all lived within a few miles of each other and had been chased inland by Hurricane Rita.
Most of the other folks were looking for a place to board their animals. Miss Brooks was the only one who actually needed a veterinarian to have her injuries treated. The conversation in the doctor’s waiting room revealed that many of us were in the same boat. We all lived within a few miles of each other and had been chased inland by Hurricane Rita.
Most of the other folks were looking for a place to board their animals. Miss Brooks was the only one who actually needed medical care. Her extensive injuries would eventually require the removal of her back left leg.
As I shared her story with my fellow evacuees I summed it all up by saying, “We couldn’t leave her there to face the storm alone.”
At the time, I hadn’t given the statement much thought. Those in the waiting room had agreed. To us, being pet owners and lovers, leaving her behind was unthinkable. But it wasn’t until I began to get a sense of Miss Brooks’ true mission in life that the statement came back to mind.
“We couldn’t leave her there to face the storm alone."
Now, as I remembered this, the Lord said, “No child of mine ever faces a storm alone. I am always with you.”
It made me think of the line from an old song, “Be thou our rock, our refuge dear, a shelter in the time of storm.” In the face of our literal storm and all its uncertainty, I was grateful to be reminded. Storms of all kinds are a reality of life, but those of us who know Jesus are able to ride them out in safety.
Psalm 91 tells us He who dwells in the shadow of the most high will rest in His shadow. God is both our refuge and our fortress — we can trust Him. He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5b), which is a good thing to know when you’re trying to navigate those storms.
Once I began to look at Miss Brooks as potential lesson material, I found she had a lot more to tell me. Although too big to be a lap dog, Miss Brooks often insists on being held.
When I hold her she presses herself against me as closely as she can, even reaching for me with her front paws as though trying to pull me into her embrace. One day at her insistence, I picked her up and drew her close. She sighed and relaxed against me, her head on my shoulder.
“In my presence there is peace and contentment,” the Father reminded me.
“I long to hold you close, to soothe your soul, to refresh you. Press in to me. Rest in me."
In Matthew 11:28 we find an invitation hard to resist. Come, he beckons, and I will give you rest. Those of you who are weary and worn out from your labors will find rest in me and you will learn from me. The burdens of life are heavy. Yoke yourself together with me and I will carry the load.
What relief there is in being able to let someone else carry the load. It’s like the old cowboy who lives for the moment at the end of the day when he can finally kick those boots off. Ah. Blessed relief.
Most of us live life at a furiously fast pace these days, even when we wish we didn’t. We run around all day not only carrying our load, but adding to it. How often we could find a soothing retreat in the presence of Jehovah if we would only take the time to visit.
Her place in our family assured, Miss Brooks has settled in nicely. We’ve gotten used to having a three-legged black bullet streaking through the house. And the lessons keep coming.
Send Wendy your comments
More Devotions on CBN.com
More from Spiritual Life
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.