Out in rural Cordes Lakes, Arizona, 3-year-old Victoria thought to look for the family dog Blue, a Queensland Heeler. Blue has been her constant companion since her birth.
Victoria became lost in the frigid cold for fifteen hours before she was found in a frozen ravine, the dog covering her. Blue kept her alive and well, except for a little frostbite.
What’s in a name? Genesis 2:19 NLT says, “So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man [Adam] to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one.”
In English, ‘dog’ just means ‘dog’. That’s about it. Hebrew is different. The Hebrew word for ‘dog’ is ‘kelev’, a compound word meaning “like a heart”. Blue’s heart was for Victoria.
Blue stayed close to Victoria, closer than any human friend. This is a real-life example why we call dogs “man’s best friend”. You probably have your own favorite dog story.
Proverbs 18:24 says, “There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” You have a friend more loyal, more helpful, than any dog, a friend who would lay down his life for you. In fact, that friend did indeed lay down his life for you nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus Christ is this friend.
Blue understood Victoria’s need for companionship and a covering to protect her. Psalm 46:1 reassures us, “God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.” Jesus Christ is God in the flesh. He was born of a virgin, raised in a family with younger brothers and sisters. Jesus knows what it’s like to be human. Scripture says, “He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds, you are healed.”
The traditional Christmas story of baby Jesus in a manger, helpless, incapable of surviving without his mom, highlights only the beginning of his 33-year lifetime on earth.
Jesus isn’t a helpless little nursing infant. Neither is he still hanging on a cross. Jesus is alive, having defeated death and the grave. He’s seated at the right hand of God the Father and he sent us his Holy Spirit to guide us and to warn us and to empower us.
Perhaps Christmas 2016 will mark a turning point in your life, as it was for me in 1974.
Preachers preach about him. Friends may talk about him. Has someone given you Christian literature or told you that you need Jesus in your heart? I know how to do all these things, but there is one thing that will make Jesus Christ more real to you, more relevant than any human persuasion.
It is my prayer for all who read this that Jesus Christ will reveal himself to you in dreams or visions or audibly. As Jesus remarked to the Apostle Peter in Matthew 16:18, he builds his church, his called out ones, upon this rock of revelation.
Persuasive words can change the mind of a logical man, but no one can change the mind of a man who has experienced a personal, divine revelation.