Hank and Roscoe and Jesus and me (and you)

Hank and Roscoe went missing. They’d dug under the fence before, but always—always—their adventures ended by nightfall. Then after some scolding and a belly rub, all would be well. But not Wednesday. Around 7:00 p.m., Susan posted this on Facebook:

“Worried. Hank and Roscoe aren’t home. They never miss dinner. Pray if you love animals, please.”

I knew how she felt. During my childhood, Buttons vanished twice, once near the river and again after an unfortunate chicken-coop massacre. Both times, my sister and I were paralyzed with worry. Both times we prayed for Buttons. Silly, perhaps? Not to a heartbroken pet owner. And certainly not to God:

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Within hours, Hank and Roscoe were the most prayed-for canines in the South. Those short-haired bodies: God, keep them warm! Those stubby legs: Lord, grant them strength! Those little doggie brains: Father, give them one! 🙂

I stalked Susan’s Facebook page, hoping for good news. On Thursday morning, none came. Thursday night, here was the update:

“No sight of them. Pray specifically: ‘God, watch over Hank and Roscoe. They are impulsive. They make wrong choices almost every time. Yet I see good in them. Bring them home, alive and safe. Amen.'”

This was the post that tossed me a blogging bone! (Sorry, really bad joke.) Seriously, though, talk about a treat of two-legged Truth! Oh, how I’ve prayed these same words for humans I ache for: Girls who need direction. Boys who make wrong choices—almost every time. Even when they go astray, God—loving, forgiving God—sees potential. He sees good, even, through the blood of Jesus. And He nudges them home, shining big hope their way:

“God chose you to be His people….He brought you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Amen for being His! And amen for no more darkness! Do you know His wonderful light? Believe me, it’s warm and safe there….

For three more days we prayed for Hank and Roscoe. And as worry turned to faith, we clung to God’s wisdom. We didn’t know the outcome, but we trusted the Master. And whatever He decided, it’d be okay.

Sunday rolled around. Susan and her husband went deep into the woods, yelling for Hank and Roscoe. Night fell. Flashlights came out. And then–praise God!–they spotted something. I’ll let Susan’s post fill you in:

“Found! Saw Roscoe first, standing at the gate. Hank was different. We caught a glimpse, but he ran away, confused. We got quiet, called softly, and there he was. Weary and exhausted, he surrendered. Isn’t that just like you and me?”

And so they’re home and happy, Hank and Roscoe. Just like me, and hopefully like you–tired of running nowhere, relieved to rest, thankful for security. It’s almost too good to be true, being found. But it’s real. And He’s searching still, this Savior of hope, for the one worthy child who’s lost her way: 

“Suppose someone has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there is more rejoicing in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine who do not need to repent” (Luke 15:4-7).


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