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Watching for Jonathan
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Fifteen-year old Molly is a blonde cocker spaniel. She has lived with our family since she was a puppy, and she has gone through many experiences right along with us. One experience that she endured with us, which she did not ask for, was having to adjust to the absence of our children when they left home for college. Especially her precious companion, Jonathan.

Jonathan had been her best friend, and they had spent countless hours through the years doing all the things that boys and dogs do together. There were a few tricks like "sit" and catching treats in her mouth, but mostly their relationship was built on simply spending time together. Many times, I would see them just sitting together side by side.

Sometimes, however, Jonathan would take Molly on a fun ride to Sonic, where she would sit in the passenger seat of his car and score a hamburger, which was a special treat for her since our family happens to be vegetarian! Molly would only give "kisses" to Jonathan. She loved all of us, I'm sure, but her deepest affection was reserved for him, licking his face as though it were slathered in frosting.

Then came the day when Jonathan left for college. That was a very solemn time for all family members, and even Molly knew something was up. She watched as he packed his car, and when he didn't return after a few days, she began to go into a true doggie depression. When he would return for visits, Molly would revive with joy and then when the car was being packed, she would once again become sad. With time, she learned that he would always come back, though, and adjusted.

Would She Remember

When Jonathan got married, Molly was an older dog and her memory appeared to be slipping, so we didn't know if she would remember Jonathan when he returned for less frequent visits. A recent visit removed any doubt. Molly greeted Jonathan’s gift of a hamburger with a wagging tail. After he left, however, she spent several days sitting at the edge of the driveway looking out.  Based on her past experiences, she had learned that Jonathan would return and he would be coming in through that driveway. So she watched. She even slept there at night in case he should come while she was sleeping, I guess. Mark and I would come home from work and there she would be looking toward the entrance.

Even though she is fifteen years old now, Molly still believes that her companion will return. And he will.

The whole experience of witnessing Molly's steady anticipation of Jonathan's return made an impression on me and made me ask myself the obvious question of whether I have that same constant, daily passion regarding the return of my companion, Jesus? Am I as acutely anticipating the moment of His appearing? Am I looking for any sign that will give me hope? Am I ready, night or day, to leap into his arms and say, "I knew you would come back!" I certainly want that kind of passion, and thanks to the example of an old dog, I'm embracing it even more deeply. 

The Bible says, “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

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By Gwen Scott Simmons. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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