Seven years ago, when Gemma, my wife, was going through a time of serious illness, we acquired our dog, Sid. He came to us from a canine rescue centre, with an uncertain, but probably harsh, background of mistreatment and abandonment. He soon became a great source of comfort, as we walked through difficult and painful months, while Gemma underwent debilitating, medical treatment.

He seemed to sense when we were both struggling, and would come and sit beside us, pushing his warm body against our legs. Thankfully the Lord restored Gemma to health, and we’ve continued to enjoy Sid’s unconditional love and playful character.

We have a loft conversion in our bungalow, which I use as a study and music room, but perhaps, most importantly, where I can meet with the Lord each day. As I prepare to go upstairs to have a quiet time with the Lord in the morning, Sid waits for me to invite him to come up with me, and, even though he’s nearly eleven years old now, he races up the stairs ahead of me, waiting for me to join him.

It always touches me to see him looking down at me from the top of the stairs. When we’re up there, he often curls up at my feet, as I sing and pray to the Lord. One day, as I saw him leaping upstairs, the thought struck me that there may be a day when he reaches old age, and when he won’t be able to climb those stairs. And then I thought, “but I'll carry him up there, so he can still be with me”.

As I thought that, I recalled the verse for today, a promise from our Heavenly Father that He’ll carry us, His children, throughout our lives, until we’re with Him in heaven. In Mark 10:13-16 we read of how little children were brought to Jesus, and He held them in His arms and blessed them. In Jesus' eyes we’ll always be precious children, never too big or too old to be held by Him, close to His heart. His arms are always open, and stretched out to hug and to carry us, when we feel unable to climb those mountains and difficulties we encounter in life, or when our hearts simply cry out for love and reassurance. Why not let Him hold you in His loving arms today?

Prayer: Lord Jesus. Thank You that You welcome me, Your child, with open arms. Thank You that somehow You can hold every one of Your children in Your arms at the same time, and make them each feel special and precious. Help me to keep coming to You all the days of my life, knowing that You’ll keep me safe, until I see You face to face in heaven. I love You, Lord. Thank You for loving me. Amen.

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"Even to your old age I am he, and to grey hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save."
Isaiah 46:3-4, ESV


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Today's Writer

Dean Gardner lives in Morecambe with his wife Gemma. He works part time in the Ellel Grange Ministry Office and also serves on the ministry team at the Grange. In 1988 he experienced God`s amazing grace at a carol service and began a journey of restoration and healing with Jesus. He longs to continue that journey allowing God`s truth to change his own life but also to share that truth with others that they too might know Jesus for themselves.

Dean Gardner

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