M.R. Wells' latest devotional connects Bible lessons with our pets' unconditional love.
by- Posted on Oct 29, 2014
Morgan, the rescue pup, was having some training issues, and his owner, Marion Wells, was having trouble dealing with him. “I was frustrated that he kept messing up," Wells told Guideposts.org, "but I told Morgan I still loved him and no matter what, he’d be my dog forever.”
That moment brought profound understanding of God's love into her life. Her relationship with her dogs reflected her relationship with God. “God loves us, even when we keep messing up. He weeps over us and forgives us.” That’s why Wells has written several devotionals featuring our four-legged friends, including the best-selling Four Paws from Heaven, and her latest book, Dogs to the Rescue.
“Dogs to the Rescue is a metaphor for God to the rescue,” Marion explains. “God has always given us illustrations—visualizations of spiritual truths. In Jesus’ days, sometimes he used animals such as donkeys and sheep to illustrate his messages. Today, because we are so close to our pets, dogs can demonstrate his truths.”
The book contains 43 uplifting stories about dogs that stepped—er, pawed—up and did amazing things to bless and minister to humans. Even though some of the dogs in the book are service dogs and therapy dogs, they are all people’s pets—“just pets with a deeper purpose,” Wells says. Each story has a Bible tie-in and some short application questions to help readers apply the central lesson to their lives.
The first story, "D-O-G Spells Miracle," teaches us that God rescues us in miraculous ways. “I think God is at work in all of our lives but we don’t always realize all the miracles He is doing,” she says. “One of the lessons of that story is to watch for those miracles, because they can strengthen our faith and help us through tough times.”
Another stand-out story Wells shares is about a chow chow and a little girl who had wandered into his yard. The dog was the big and powerful protector of his domain. The little girl had had polio and wore braces on her legs. She had wandered into the yard and tripped over the dog’s chain. The dog came alongside her and allowed her to grab his skin and literally use it to pull herself up. "The dog had restrained his power and been gentle with the little girl, just as God often does when rescuing us,” Wells says.
She lives in California with her two cats and three dogs, and considers her own dogs heroes. “They aren’t service dogs or therapy dogs, but they are loving and loyal. They are right there for me every single day.” Wells takes this message a step further. “We could say that at one time or another we are ALL heroes. We don’t always realize how much the little things we do can matter and lift others up.”
In the midst of our hectic, stressful lives, it’s a comfort to take time out to read touching stories about our canine buddies, which remind us of God’s love.