So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming, and was filled with loving pity and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Luke 15:20 TLB
Exhausted from the weekend away, we stopped at our friend’s home to pick up our precious Mysti dog. Before we even got out of the car, we saw our friend coming toward the car, shaking his head, “She’s gone,” He said mournfully. “It happened so fast. She got out of the house and started running, first in circles. Everyone was chasing her, even my landscape crew! She dodged between their legs, and before we knew it, she disappeared into the woods. We searched everywhere. It’s as if she just vanished. I even posted a note in the local post office.”
We couldn’t believe our ears. We weren’t sure what to do. Once the initial shock subsided, we discovered Mysti had already been gone for 24 hours. We were more concerned when we realized the temperatures were forecasted to drop below zero.
We both prayed silently during the remaining ten miles home. The house felt eerily empty as we entered with our luggage. Mysti’s water and food bowls immediately caught our eye. Fighting back the tears, I asked my husband, “What if they don’t find her? How will she survive the cold tonight?”
He put his arms around me and replied, “We just need to keep praying that someone found her. Maybe she has been safe all this time. We will call and see if the post office heard anything tomorrow.”
Mysti, our little pug dog, had been a part of our family for twelve years. With our kids away at school, she was our source of comfort in adjusting to the empty nest.
We were silent throughout the evening as we wrestled with our prayers and worries while unpacking, sorting laundry, and preparing for the next day. We tried to discuss other things, but our conversation always returned to the what-ifs. Then the phone rang. The Caller Id displayed an unknown number.
My husband answered it, with me right by his side.
“Yes?”. . . “Yes!” He smiled and winked at me, “Where did you find her?”
Our little Mysti missed home so much that she was determined to return on her own. She was found on a route four miles from home. The family saw her running on the side of the main road. They had fallen in love with her, bathed and fed her, and even discussed names. But then they saw the note in the post office. They were secretly hoping that it was not the same dog. My husband asked about several distinguishing marks, and sure enough, it was Mysti. Since it was late, we would pick our baby up the next day. Knowing she was safe allowed us to get a peaceful sleep and say praises for answered prayers.
Reflecting on this incident, I am amazed at Mysti’s internal GPS and her perseverance to return home. Would she have tried to run from the second family as well? I don’t know. However, I remember the joy and relief we felt when we received that phone call. I’m sure it was minuscule compared to the compassion the prodigal son’s father must have felt. Our circumstances were drastically different, but our pup had disappeared, and now she was found!
I may not run away from God physically, but how often do I let distractions distance me from Him? The difference is that my heavenly Father always sees me. I can never disappear from Him, but I’m responsible for pursuing His presence, His heart, with the same passion that Mysti sought her return home.
Mysti was now safe in our arms. What keeps you from the safety and welcome of the Savior’s embrace?
Dear Lord, Forgive me when I distance myself from you with earthly distractions. I am grateful, You are the God who sees. I want to surrender what separates me from You and make my heart Your home. Amen