The book I read certainly seemed to have a moral to the story.
An older couple lived in a secluded area with their daughter, who they had late in life.
Their daughter was still young and lived with them.
They had a dog.
These are the only simple details that I will relate.
The rest are more complicated.
As evil is in the world, these people were about to be in danger.
There were those who had plotted to kidnap their daughter.
On the night of the planned abuction, the family dog heard them approaching their property.
Barking loudly, the dog frightened them away.
Not understanding what all the commotion was about, the old man was simply aggravated at the dog for barking so much when he was trying to sleep.
The next night, the man decided that he would put his dog in a barrel for the night, in hopes that he wouldn’t bark and disturb him.
Once again, the kidnappers approached at night in search of the girl.
The dog knew what was going on and tried his best to get free from the barrel.
Violently thrashing on the wooden planks that held him, the dog finally turned the barrel over, breaking it.
Once free, he again caused the would-be kidnappers to flee.
Unhappy about a second night’s disturbed sleep, the owner decided to tie his dog up in a cloth sack the next evening.
Sadly, the dog could not get free in time—and, of course, the kidnappers returned.
They entered the house, tied the parents up and took the girl.
Heroically, the dog finally makes his way out of the sack and chews the ropes of his owners to set them free.
He then leads them to where the girl is trapped.
The story ends with the attackers gone and the family safe and united once again.
There are many lessons to be learned from this work, but one stands out to me, especially.
There are times when God allows a provision for us.
A friend to speak words of encouragement–or maybe, rebuke–at a particular season of our life.
Someone to warn us of danger that we just can’t seem to see.
A parent, a brother, a sister.
A boss, a counselor, a pastor or priest.
A friend, a neighbor, a co-worker.
We have a choice.
Do we listen to their words?
Do we check for ourselves to see if what they’re saying is true?
Do we spend time in prayer, asking God about it?
Or do we dismiss them continually, shutting them out of our lives, aggravated that they bothered to talk to us in the first place?
Often, we may look back and think, "if only I had listened."
Then, it may be too late.
Take a few moments tonight and think about this.
Has God placed someone in your life that has cautioned you recently about a matter?
Have you ignored their words and dismissed the situation?
Why not consider again what you have heard?
Be alert to God’s warnings—