By Jerry Russell, Washington Conference vice president of finance

When I was a kid we had a Dachshund named Duke. One of Duke’s biggest fears was water. He wouldn’t even go into our bathroom because that is where the water was.

One day, while I was swimming in a lake with my family, Duke awoke from his nap under a shaded tree. Seeing that we were in the water and in imminent danger, he rushed to the shore barking out his warning to us. He continued to bark loudly while running back and forth on the shoreline and dock, imploring us to get out of the water. This went on for quite a while as Duke was sure we were in terrible danger.

A little while later as it quieted down, I looked over at my good buddy on the shore and noticed that he was at the water’s edge with one of his front paws in the water and the other hovering so carefully above the surface. He was attempting a rescue!

He continued to wade slowly into the water until his four inch legs no longer touched the bottom and he was swimming out to rescue the family he loved so much. Reaching my Mom first because she was his favorite, he grabbed hold of the shoulder strap of her bathing suit and began the process of towing her in. At that point my Mom grabbed the little guy and brought him to shore where she sat with him for a while. 

This little story about my dog Duke reminds me of the love of Jesus coming to earth to save us from our sins and making it possible for us to live with Him forever. In the past few weeks I have attended memorial services for friends of mine who have gone to sleep in Jesus. It’s difficult to watch family members and friends in sorrow and grief over the loss of a loved one, but each time I leave a service like that I am filled with Hope and Assurance that our Jesus is going to return someday and re-unite us with those we have lost.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. - John 3:16, NKJV

What a day that will be!