Our God presents Himself to us in many ways. His ways are not our ways and His ways are not always understood, but if we operate in obedience to His word and heed His call to action, we receive His blessing.
This is a true Christmas story; the story of Noel.
It was just a little over a week until Christmas when I received a telephone call from a friend who alerted me that along the on ramp of a busy interstate a dog was laying on a blue coat or blanket at the edge of the road.
The weather was just in the teens and it was going to get much colder in the next couple of nights. Below zero temperatures were expected.
Knowing this, my husband and I grabbed our coats and went to see if the dog was still there.
We had to drive several miles and we hoped that we could help this dog.
We drove past the on ramp and turned around, so we could get a good view of the roadside and sure enough I spotted her as her head popped up to look around.
We hurried to where she was, pulling our car close to the edge of the road beside her.
There she was. She was laying on a blue towel. That's all there was between her and the cold ground. Someone had left her there with just a towel and it was obvious she was laying there waiting for her master to return to get her.
She got up to greet us, tail wagging and happy to see someone. She was scared and cold, of course, and very skittish.
I noticed right away that this dog was female and that she was very pregnant.
I offered her some dog food that we had in our car. Our dog usually goes everywhere with us, so we keep a little food in the car for her. The food came in handy for this sweet, hungry mamma to be. I wondered how long she had been laying along the road awaiting her masters return.
Her dark brown eyes almost pleaded with us not to leave her, as we tried to coax her into the car.
She was reluctant to get into the car, however. She didn't know us and I believe that in her pregnant state, she just couldn't climb into the car.
After a few minutes of coaxing her, my husband bent down and gently placed his arms under her pregnant tummy and picked her up slowly and carried her to our car.
Her gentle nature showed her thankfulness for her rescue, as she sat up in the back seat of the car and enjoyed her ride into town.
Our town has a dog rescue and we drove straight there hoping to find someone. Sure enough we were met by Becky, who was just getting ready to leave, but happily took this sweet abandoned doggy into her care.
We were told she would go to the veterinarian to be examined and held for a week and then come back to the dog rescue. We were assured we would be kept informed as to what would happen to this dog.
I think of the story of Jesus, as Mary and Joseph were traveling in the cold, her on a donkey and with child. They came to the inn, but there was not a room for them. What were they going to do?
Mary was so close to giving birth.
And then a blessing came.
They were told that there was room in the stable with the animals. They could stay there.
And so they did.
Mary and Joseph went to the stable and baby Jesus was born that night and laid in a manger.
The Christ child, Jesus was born in substandard conditions, yet He was born solely for the purpose of being our Savior.
Someone said to me, You are that dogs savior I guess." I said, "No, maybe her angel for just that moment in time."
There is just one Savior and I am reminded of just how much He loves me and even the animals that he has placed in our care.
I always say that God sets our appointments and on that cold night, God set an appointment for my husband and I to meet a very special mother ready to give birth. She was out in the cold with no where to go. She had no food or water and no place for shelter.
We don't always listen when God is nudging us to do something. Sometimes we are too busy or too tired, or maybe sometimes its just too hot or too cold.
That night I felt God's nudging with a sense of urgency. When I saw the appointment that He had set for us, I was filled with love and compassion and I truly believe I could see the love of Jesus in this dogs eyes as she looked at me. His love and compassion for both this sweet dog and for my husband and me was meant for this moment in time.
We have learned that the dog has been named Noelle and that she has given birth to nine puppies.
I know in my heart that each of these puppies will be a blessing to whomever adopts them and when their owners look into their. eyes, they too will have an encounter with Jesus.
There has been an outpouring of support and love for Noelle from the community, sharing Facebook posts and in the newspaper and even a spot on television. The question is, "Who abandoned Noel along the road in the cold when she was pregnant and about to have her babies?"
We may never know who did this cruel act, but we do know that there is a community of people with a heart of God who do care.
It is in this knowledge that we can find blessing and confidence in our God.
He tells us "My sheep hear my voice." I say "Listen." He just might have something important and unexpected for you to do, too.
Praying that the true story of my Christmas encounter with Noel leaves everyone feeling loved and blessed by our Father in Heaven.
Praise God from Whom ALL blessings come!