“It will take you two hours to get here. Maybe we can do it later in the week.”
Cindy got off the phone with April. She just wasn’t ready for the visit. Josie had been part of their family for two years.
Josie is a purebred German shepherd. Cindy and her husband, Tom, bought Josie so she could be a watchdog for them and to help keep deer and other animals out of their large garden. But that’s not what Josie likes to do. She loves people—which is a good thing. But if her owners aren’t home, she will get loose and go to their neighbors’ homes to find friends—which isn’t always a good thing.
Cindy struggled with whether or not it was best for Josie to live with them. She was such a loving dog, yet she wasn’t very helpful in the ways that they needed her to be. They needed an outdoor dog. If Josie had her way, she’d lie on her rug inside the house and just listen to the humans talking.
Was there someone who would love Josie the way they did, where she could be an indoor dog?
Cindy decided to place an advertisement online to see if anyone who could provide Josie with a new home. She prayed that God would lead someone to them who would be a perfect fit. She prayed on Tuesday morning. That day Cindy received an email from April and called her that evening,
“Can we come see Josie tonight?” April asked.
Cindy wasn’t ready to let Josie go yet. They hung up, and Cindy thought that maybe she could come back early from her doctor’s appointment on Thursday. But that would mean Tom couldn’t meet April and her family. So they decided to call April back and tell them they could come that night.
April’s husband, Chris, replied, “I was just going to call you to see if we could come tonight. I have the next three days off work, and it would be perfect to have that time with Josie, if it works out that we can take her.”
Chris, April, and one of their four children arrived close to 9:00 p.m. After they talked about Josie, Cindy and Tom decided this was the family God had sent to them. They said their sad goodbyes, and Josie went to her new home.
Chris and April sent Cindy and Tom pictures of Josie in her new home, playing with their four children. Josie looked so happy. She had her bed in the corner of the family room where she could be with all the children. Josie also had 32 acres surrounding her new home if she felt like exploring. Chris and April also told Cindy and Tom that they could contact them anytime.
But here’s the incredible part of the story: April said that Josie slept at the foot of her bed that first night. Whenever April got up to go somewhere, Josie was right next to her. April has a health condition that doesn’t cause her a lot of problems at the moment, but she knows that her condition may get worse as she gets older. So April could have Josie trained as a service dog if her condition gets worse. And Josie is the perfect dog for this, because these types of dogs must stay close to their master!
We know that God has plans for our lives, but I think God has plans for His animals’ lives too. God used Josie to be a joy to her new family and to be a service to her new master. Josie is living out her purpose. The question for you to think about is “Am I living out my purpose by using my abilities to serve others?” God wants us to serve others so we can bring joy to them and to ourselves—just as Josie did.
Bonita Joyner Shields has served the North American Division as both associate director and director of the stewardship department, vice president for ministries, and now as an Associate Secretary.
Photo by Yuriy Bogdanov on Unsplash