“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Ps. 46:1-3 NIV)
Something was wrong. Something was wonderfully wrong. I knew in my mind that my old beagle dog, Snoopy and my daughter’s Saint Bernard mix, Lemmy had passed away this last year. Yet, there they both were playing and romping and chasing each other in my back yard. They seemed younger too. Snoopy had been in ill health for the last years of her life and Lemmy had lost the use of one of his legs before he died. But here they were running and barking and playing tag like a couple of puppies. It felt so good watching them. My spirit felt so alive. My heart felt so full and I was laughing with joy.
“Beep, Beep, Beep!” My alarm clock went off and I opened my eyes. It had all been a dream but what a blessing of a dream. My eyes were damp with tears and my face was still smiling. As I woke up two thoughts filled my mind too. “God loves you!” and “All is well!” I reached down and felt my newest rescue dog, Sweetie licking my hand. I got up, got dressed and took her out for her morning walk just in time to greet the sunrise. As I watched those beautiful, brilliant colors paint the sky those two thoughts remained with me: “God loves you!” “All is well!”
Yes, this world can be a mess at times. It has wars, hunger, climate change, pandemics, illness, conflict, and yes, even death. But this is also God’s world. He put us here to learn, to live, and to love. And some of our best teachers are our furry, four-legged friends. That dream reminded me that two of mine are in Heaven waiting for me with wagging tails and a lot of love.
Don’t let life’s pains and problems steal your happiness then. Instead follow the wisdom of our furry friends and bless this world with your love and your joy. Each day when you wake up be thankful for the gift of this life. Each day take the time to be aware of its blessings. And always remember: “This is God’s world!” “God loves you!” “All is well!”
Joseph J. Mazzella