Abundant Life–Gifts of the Good Shepherd, Day 22

Recently, my son asked me if I had had any childhood pets.

“Oh, yes,” I replied, suddenly wondering how such an important part of my childhood had never been relayed to my son. I can’t say I am a huge animal person, though some of my favorite people are. But though we had several pets growing up, my favorite was a dog we named Gussy.

Gussy was a rescued dog from the shelter. I have never asked my dad why he picked Gussy out of all the others, but I am sure there were other dogs that were seemingly better equipped to be a family pet. You see, Gussy had been badly abused by a previous owner.

I remember clearly the day I first saw Gussy. She was on a leash so she wouldn’t run away, but that wasn’t much of a problem. She was too scared to run away. She could hardly walk due to her constant trembling. We had to spend quite a bit of time slowly approaching her, letting her know we wouldn’t hurt her. In time, she quit trembling around our family. But whenever another person or another dog came onto our property, she started violently shaking all over again.

So we kept loving her, kept feeding her, kept trying to make her feel safe. More time passed and one day we looked up and realized Gussy was no longer afraid. She didn’t shake or tremble or whimper. She was the epitome of the perfect dog companion, loyal and loving.

Even in my young mind, I understood what had happened. Gussy had been rescued. And though she still acted “un-rescued” for a time after she had been rescued, eventually love and care won the battle. Eventually, she began to trust the place she had in our family, and in our hearts. For many years, the first picture in my brother’s wallet was a picture of Gussy. (Not kidding!) We had seen first hand the beautiful process of rescue and redemption, and had understood the power of love.

When we realize abundant life yields rescue and redemption for us, then we have the courage and the authority to yield rescue and redemption for others sake.

First, we must remember that we have been rescued. Jesus left His heavenly throne to come down to earth and rescue us from sin, death, and despair.  Praise Him for HIs great rescue!

Secondly, we must ask the Lord how He wants to use us in His plan to rescue others. And in God’s precious way, if we are willing to be used as an instrument of rescue, He will continue His process of rescuing us. In time, we will find that we are the blessed ones.

Who are you called to rescue? Ask the Lord how He wants to use you, and don’t forget to thank Him for His divine rescue in your life.

Praying for you!



Psalm 18: 1-6, 16-19

I love you, Lord, my strength.


The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,

my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.


I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,

and I have been saved from my enemies.


The cords of death entangled me;

the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.


The cords of the grave coiled around me;

the snares of death confronted me.


In my distress I called to the Lord;

I cried to my God for help.

From his temple he heard my voice;

my cry came before him, into his ears.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me;

he drew me out of deep waters.


He rescued me from my powerful enemy,

from my foes, who were too strong for me.


They confronted me in the day of my disaster,

but the Lord was my support.


He brought me out into a spacious place;

he rescued me because he delighted in me.


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