February 9, 2003

John 15:2 – He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (NIV)

I was at my parents' house recently, and, as usual, the dog greeted us. When we arrive, he always makes a fuss of us, especially my wife, as she takes him for extra walks, which is always a popular thing with dogs.

When he was a puppy, if he bit my hand too hard, I would bite his paw or ear, just hard enough for him to associate my displeasure with his, or I might growl, just to show who was boss.

My wife often says that I am barking mad, especially when I crawl around on my hands and knees barking! Being brought up with them from birth, I can effectively talk dog, and I am sure Caroline would say I have the epiglottis with which I could snore, or growl, for England.

Anyway, a nicer and more loving dog you have yet to meet, but he is still a dog. When one attempts to do something that is a benefit for him, like clipping his dewclaws, he will growl and make a big show of being displeased. However, if the dewclaws were not trimmed, they would grow full circle and back into the flesh, causing pain and infection. So it is a job that needs to be done for his own good, even when he protests, and we recently succeeded in doing it without causing hurt to either party! He is now, for a terrier, an old dog, and, although he had made a token resistance, he trusted my wife and I. So, if a little affronted, he was soon back to normal.

It made me wonder what God thinks of us and the fuss we make when we are in need of being trimmed back: how much do we growl, or do we trust Him?

Psalm 9:7-10 – The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, we welcome You into our lives once more today. Through Your Holy Spirit, abide with us, cleanse us, and minister to that within us which needs Your tender loving care. May we be strengthened and so cherish Your light within us that it spills out as we bump into the world to which You take us today. Amen.

About the author:

Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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