Remaining faithful to God in our struggles

I don’t know what it is about Fridays but they can produce some unexpected results and conversations.

As normal on the last day of the school week I call into the staff room in the local primary school for tea.

One teacher confessed how after particularly stormy weather her dog was allowed to stay in the kitchen overnight for the first time. This sparked off five minutes of pet talk. One native of Tyrone explained how she had convinced her husband she was buying a small bed for their dog and moving it into their room. The dog in question was rescued when the previous owner gave up the canine because her new partner didn’t like dogs.

At this remark many of the women in the room roared and laughed as they explained they would rather get rid of the husband or partner than the dog. I think they were trying to explain how men were more high maintenance than pets. The discussion changed subtly in the direction of pet names. The best name for a pet came from the neighbour of one teacher who called his cat ‘whiss whiss whiss.’ I’m not sure if it’s spelt with a fada or not!

This brings me to my father, the nephew and my sister’s first house dog which is fostered by my parents. Normally my father would walk the line with Penny. She was happy as long as she had her master’s total attention.

Then on Friday my father thought it would be a great idea to tire his grandson by taking him for a walk.

The infant was soon to find out his presence wasn’t appreciated by the dog, so my father has a child in a harness in one hand and a dog on a lead in the other. As far as Penny was concerned three was a crowd. Firstly she reacted by pushing the child over to slow him down, to which the nephew responded by grabbing her tail. Not to be outdone the dog decided to walk in the space between grandchild and grandparent letting the new start know who was staying closest to the white haired veteran. The loyalty of pets and dogs in particular are amazing to watch. A well trained dog will have complete trust and confidence in their owner.

As humans our lives are governed by reason and emotion. Due to life experience we find it more difficult to be trusting, to remain patient and understanding. However in this week’s passage from Saint Luke we hear Jesus explain how our endurance will gain us our lives. Every generation of disciple will be faced with turmoil and opposition.

Jesus does not promise to shelter his followers from the storms of life; on the contrary God will often be found walking with his people through their trials and struggles.

As Christians, each one of us will be confronted with the end times as we live out our lives. Now is the decision time when we’re challenged to place our trust in God. When faced with difficulty, when confronted by hardship will we remain loyal to our faith in Jesus Christ?