pennyIf you know Louise and Jim Grassi you will also recognize that we have a passion for dogs. Not just any dogs, but especially Labrador Retrievers. I’m convinced that the reason Louise has to have hip surgery is because of her love and care for seven different liters of pups and fifteen of our own Labradors whom she regularly loved to walk. A great amount of bending, stretching, and stooping she did in preparing and serving countless meals also had its toll.

Our fifteen-year-old “Penny” is close to the end. Today, Penny can barely see, hear, or walk. In dog years she is about 100-years-old. Often when she needs to go outside or is fearful, she will bark or come over and push against us. Sometimes she will act this way just to know we are near and will respond to her. As Penny beds down in our closet she often will get confused when she awakens. She is unsure where she is and if she is alone.

Often a simple pat of her head or petting her back will allow her to settle back down and return to her blissful memories and dreams of fetching a pheasant or playing with her friends. After such an event she will often just let out a big sigh of contentment.

Because she can still eat, stand, and fetch her toys during her morning and evening runs, we can’t see putting her down. As long as we are there for her, she is good with life and pushing through a few aches and pains that must be endured.

In a similar way as our Penny, King David regularly experienced pain, confusion, and fear. He took immense comfort in knowing that God was near. His words in Psalm 139:7-12 convey his faith in God’s presence:

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

Many people I encounter feel lost in the darkness of life. Feeling “lost in the darkness” could be from an illness, grieving the loss of a loved one, worried about that prodigal child, or feeling afraid, guilt ridden, or discouraged. Whatever the darkness in our lives, remember– God is near. The writer of Hebrews said it best, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Heb. 13:5

Someone once said, “Darkness and dreaded fears flee in the light of God’s presence and peace.” He is our comforter and our hope. Don’t let the darkness of the moment allow a fearful emotion to take over. God’s hand of comfort is stretched out to you right now. “When I am afraid I will trust in You.” Ps. 56:3

Personal Application:

  1. What did Jesus mean when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”? Matt. 11:28
  2. Remember my friend, “He does not take His eyes off the righteous” Ps. 69:1-3
  3. FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real. Most of what we fear is not real in the light of spiritual truth that we are in God’s hands.
  4. So many people are longing for something positive in their life. If this has inspired you please pass this along

Jim Grassi, D. Min.