Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: DOG (08/09/18)
TITLE: Jehoveh Jirer - My Provider
By Elaine Hemingway
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Years ago, living on a farm in Zambia, my husband bought him for me as a puppy. That was against the usual route for obtaining farm ‘freebies’. A British bulldog against the Afrikaner Rottweilers, Ridgebacks, Boerbulls and various terriers was an interesting addition. And so began my love of the breed.
Fast forward fifty years and several specimens later and here I am, back in England and looking after husband number two who is now bed-bound and suffering from dementia amongst other problems. He shared my love of bulldogs but was never content to play second fiddle to them so his rules were to be obeyed. I remember him busy in his workshop fixing things, while Phoebe, whose name had been changed from Freebie when she was passed on to us by someone who wanted a better guard-dog, sat at the entrance watching in dumb adoration. Soon after the end came for her, the beginning of the end started for us. We had to rise above the circumstances.
As conditions worsened some days caught me napping. I never intended to feel negative but when I did I had a rule of thumb – turn to Jesus. I am given ‘time out’ which means someone else sits with my husband so I can go out. I may have shopping to do or perhaps I can go for a walk, or sit in a coffee shop and park with a book. If I feel creative I may even look around for inspiration and write a short piece of Work in Progress. Once a month there is a Carers’ Support Group meeting and we share on whatever is bothering or challenging or encouraging. Truth to tell we understand each other when others do not. In general, though it’s a lonely life and the only One who really understands is Jesus.
He knew my heart because he knows me better than I know myself. One Sunday evening a few months ago a telephone call interrupted my evening meditations.
“Hi! Elaine,” came the voice of the senior carer of the company supporting me.
“Just a quick query and you were the person I thought might help. You like bulldogs, don’t you?”
I was hesitant. Whatever was this about?
She didn’t wait for my reply. “Would you consider taking a bulldog for a trial period? She needs rescuing from her present situation. If it doesn’t work out …”
“I’ll take her,” I interrupted.
Bella arrived the next day and the trial period wasn’t even half-an-hour. She had decided on her chair and commandeered a duvet.
She is the most obstinate of critters, six years old and counting, taxing my patience to the uttermost when I think she needs exercise.
Don’t we know what happens when we ask the Lord for patience?
He gives opportunity after opportunity to learn!
What other breed would be content to sit around all day with an occasional foray into the garden? Who else, when I have been called sometimes hourly at night, would wait until I’m almost asleep before putting flat nose to my face to say, ‘don’t worry, I’m here for you.’
I am hoping that she will understand one day that I am in charge, but meantime I am so grateful that Jehoveh Jirer provided her for me as a delightful object lesson.
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