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The missing dog

by Church Times








By Gbenga Osinaike

I never liked dogs. But my wife made me fall in love with them. So when we moved to a new apartment a few years ago, we had to get a dog we named Doja. It is of both the Alsatian and local breed.
We got so used to the dog that I found myself showing more care to it than I could ever imagine. There were times I would get home from work and the first question I would ask is: Has Doja eaten? That was the extent of the care.
So this fateful day I had gotten back from work and the children were itching to watch the Nigeria-Zambia match. It was during the African Cup of nation’s tournament. I had to go and buy fuel to power thegenerator set because in this part of the world electricity is always a problem.I entered the car and my children joined me.
 As I drove out to the gas station, Doja followed the car. We tried to dissuade it but it would not budge. There and then something in my spirit kept telling me that this dog would miss its way. It followed us to the main road linking The Bells School owned by former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo which is not far from our house in Ota, Ogun State Nigeria.
We had moved almost 500 metres away from home. I made attempt to come down from the car, grab the dog by its loins and put it in the car but it ran far away from us. I didn’t know what came over me I just sped off. I left it wandering in the midst of the road. I knew something was going to happen.
By the time I got home that evening the dog had not come back. My wife was sad. My children were sad. I tried to behave like a man but I couldn’t hold it. I then combed the community, checking every nook and cranny hoping to see the dog. Time was already past 10 in the evening. I came back home looking forlorn. I did not see Doja.  My children had gone to bed. My wife was dejected. It was as if a human being was missing. We slept that
night but we were not comfortable.
My little daughter wept profusely on her way to school the following morning when she knew Doja did not come back. That was after she had forced me to pray during our morning devotion that God should bring the dog back.
The first night, the second night, Doja was nowhere to be found. I took a motorbike one morning to look for it in the nooks and cranny of the vicinity where we live and yet we did not find it. We started adjusting to the sad reality of its absence from home.
Then the Holy Spirit began to minister to me. He asked: So you care for a dog this much? He asked if I had ever taken the pain to care for souls the way I cared for the dog. He said God cares much more for us and would not want any of his children missing.
 And He told me that the way the dog got missing so many people are missing. He said many are lost in sin, sickness and disease and they have become fatherless. Then scriptures started pouring into my heart. I began to see why Jesus spoke about the good shepherd. I began to see why He would leave the 99 and go looking for the one lost sheep.
I began to see why there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repents. I also began to see why Jesus says: What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his own soul. The import of this is that the soul of man is so precious before God that His only son had to come and make sacrifice so that you and I can be saved. Have you ever wondered that there is no joy in heaven when you get a new car, a new house or even get a healing?
But the heavens erupt in joy when one sinner decides to repent. The story of the dog tells me a lot about the situation of the sinner and saints. It tells about the saints, because many times we don’t care for the souls that are perishing. It tells about the sinner because a life without Christ is a life that is missing. It is a wandering life.
The dog wandered for three days but it came home eventually. That is the good news. My wife’s younger sister went looking for it again the third day and could not find it. She came back home dejected. But by the time my children came back from school Doja had come back on its own.
They met it in the compound. It was panting. Its stomach had gone flat. Its eyeballs were dangling in their sockets. But everybody was happy that it had come back home.
A bowl of water was first given to it and it drank the water as never before. It ate voraciously thereafter. The dog obviously had been starved of everything. But it was good it came back home.
That to me is a lesson. No matter how lost you are in sin, God is ready to accept you. It is never too late. Don’t wait until you are knocked down in the wilderness of sin. God is asking you to come home.

Enough of the miserable life you are living. It is time to come home.  Jesus is calling you. Will you come home? Jesus is waiting for you.

Osinaike is the publisher/Editor-Chief of Church Times Nigeria. He could be reached on 08033336243 or email on gbengaosinaike@yahoo.co.uk like us on facebook www.churchtimesnewspaper.facebook .com

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