Today’s Challenges: The gift keeps on giving


I’ve written a couple of times about our new rescued dog, Cassie, but something I don’t think I have mentioned is that she was a gift to my wife.

Our little dog Chewy died this past summer and my wife has been grieving ever since. Actually, until we got our new furry kid I didn’t realize how much I missed her too. Anyway, the search for a new dog began as a search for a special dog for my wife for Valentines Day. We got her a few days late, but the name which was chosen for her is “Cassie Valentine.”

You probably have heard the saying which goes, “it’s the gift that keeps on giving,” well that’s Cassie. She has bonded with both of us, but especially my wife as she is with her so much more. My wife can’t leave the room without a little black shadow following her. She gets so excited when we give her canned dog food that she prances around, rolls on her back and wags all over, (the dog, not my wife). She returns the blessing of love, maybe because she understands the gift she has been given and remembers what it was like not to have those who loved her and cared for her.

Our granddaughter has also received a gift through this little fur ball. She has “suggested” for the past six months that “you guys REALLY need a new dog”. What she was really saying is that she wanted us to get a dog that she could play with. However, blessings sometimes bless us in unexpected ways. Our 9-year-old granddaughter has begun hand sewing clothes for the dog. She has made her a coat and shawl and a neckerchief. They really look cute and she is proud of her ability to make these little gifts for the dog. Gifts can be blessings which fill our needs, gives us something we can’t give ourselves, or even that which causes us to share with others.

From another aspect though which we understand is that this gift comes with responsibility. Dog’s take care; they take time, and there is some expense with having a dog. That’s not unlike the gift of being a Christian is it? Someone reminded me again, that Dog spelled backwards is GOD, maybe that’s not an accident that it’s that way.

I like this modern translation of Ephesians 2:8 that tells us, “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” Often in the New Testament we read of the reaction of those who come into contact with Jesus. They rejoiced, gave thanks and went and told others what Jesus has done for them, because the gift he has given them.

How are you doing with that? In Matthew 28:119-20 we read of Jesus saying, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” You see, this is our response to the gift! It is the gift that keeps on giving and one for which we must keep on rejoicing.

By Russ Lawson

Today’s Challenges

Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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