Titus was a blessing to our family since the day we adopted him a little over two months ago. We had prayed for quite a while that God would bring us the right dog to join our family. We had two dogs and one of them had died of cancer over a year ago, so we had taken our time in finding just the right dog to replace him.
We were really excited when we saw Titus because he was a gentle giant. He is a Great Pyrenees and is about the size of a Shetland pony. He weighs between one hundred and twenty-five and one hundred and fifty pounds and he is absolutely beautiful. He is around two years old and the kids and grandkids all adored Titus. He was shy about coming in the house initially until we had our first thunder and lightening storm and then he ran into the house like a scared rabbit. It took a little time, but he finally became comfortable in the house.
Great Pyrenees are a breed that guard sheep and cattle and many times are introduced to a herd at about two months of age and then grow to protect their herd. They are a breed that feels they need to protect everything in their yard or property and he took a liking to our huge backyard. One article we read said that when left to open spaces they feel like they need to protect the entire world. We felt like Titus (which means noble, giant defender) would do just that.
Titus did concern me a little though because he would growl and snap at the other animals but one day I had laughed so hard because he was playing with Peace our big orange tabby cat. They were in the backyard and Titus would get down on his front paws like he wanted to play and Peace would run at him and Titus would take off. I thought that he looked like he was finally getting along with the other animals so I was happy he was fitting in with the rest of the family. He did continue to growl occasionally if someone entered his space while he was sleeping, and that continued to concern me. He growled a couple of times at my wife and that was something I definitely did not like.
Monday morning I let the dogs into the house because it was already getting hot outside and both of the dogs like the air conditioning. Titus went into the foyer area by the front door and office and lay down. I was going into the office about five minutes later and went to pet Titus. He had his eyes open so I kneeled down and petted him on the side of his head and asked him how he was doing. I donít know if he was in dreamland or what, but he lunged at my face. Fortunately, I ducked my head as he lunged and his bottom teeth raked my forehead as his top teeth chomped the top of my head. He immediately lunged at my face again and I caught the second bite with my right hand which got punctured pretty badly. He continued to bark madly but finally settled down as my wife drove me to the hospital. I was there about five hours and when I got back home, Titus was in the house. But I wasnít in a forgiving mood at that time.
I had some emotions to deal with because I was pretty ticked off. I have had dogs for most of my fifty-four years and I have never experienced a dog bite from any of my dogs or anybody elseís dog for that matter. But to say the least I was extremely perturbed.
So I went and took a hot bath that evening and really prayed to the Lord about what lesson I was to learn from this experience. I know that there are always lessons to be learned from loss, so I sincerely sought the Lord about what I should do. As I prayed and meditated on the Lord, He began to share with me mercy and grace, forgiveness and love.
God showed me that through His grace and mercy, and His forgiveness that Jesus bought on the cross, we can always enter into His love. But it is not always easy. There are many times that I as a sinner know that God loves me, and I know that through His grace and mercy I can receive His forgiveness. We sinners need to show the same grace and mercy, forgiveness and love to others when they have fallen short of the expectations we have for them. We are human, and the devil is quick to remind us of our shortcomings, but if we can get past ourselves and try to be Christ-like, forgiveness can occur.
So I told my children what God had told me and they were pretty surprised that I was going to forgive Titus because it had been a vicious attack. Tuesday I petted Titus and told him I was sorry for invading his space unannounced and told him I forgave him for trying to bite my head off. Jamie and Jeff said he looked guilty but it was more than guilt, there was no longer any love in his eyes. But I still was going to try because I wanted to be the master that showed mercy, forgiveness and love.
Then I found out he had jumped my chain link fence while I was at the hospital and then again Tuesday morning. It was only a four foot fence and Titus took it at a single jump. That made him a risk to the neighbors as well as the people that walk their dogs down our street, so my wife brought him in the house on Tuesday evening. About eleven p.m. I suggested putting him in the garage because I didnít really trust him any longer in the house. And he rebelled. He neither wanted to go outside nor did he want to go into the garage, and when I got involved he growled viciously and that was enough.
Animal control came out to the house and picked him up. And that was a process in itself. The police had to come to the house too, and they asked why I thought he was behaving in the manner he was. I told them the entire story and then said that it seemed like when he attacked me I had become his enemy. There were comments about the alpha male syndrome whereby he was battling for that alpha male role, but it seemed to me when he attacked me I was his enemy, which made no sense at all to me. But did I trust him any longer around me or my family. No, I did not.
But again I talked to the Lord. I said Lord what is the message in this? Why did Titus have to scare my family before we had him taken away? What had happened to him to view me as the enemy?
The Lord showed me that Titus was reacting the same way that we as people act when we encounter His presence. When we come in contact with someone who is full of God, walking in the anointing of God, or exhibiting the glory of God, we have choices and decisions we have to make.
When we encounter God is someone, one of our choices is that we can embrace the God in that person. We can receive what they are saying and at that moment in time we can embrace God. Another choice is to run from the anointing or glory of God because we are afraid of God and donít want any of that glory to convict us of the path we are on. Another choice is to attack or react angrily to the God in the person that is trying to share that glory with us.
The Lord shared with me that this is a day of decision. We can embrace God at this day and time and go forth in His glory to glories to glories for evermore to eternity, or we can run or attack His presence and be sent to the pit to languish forever with those that have rebelled through eternity into darkness forever.
Godís glory is being released into the earth right now. As fear on all fronts is becoming more prevalent the only sane path to choose is the path to glory. Any other path is a road of incredible scariness. Choose who you want to embrace today, tomorrow might be too late to decide.
God loves you, Jesus died for you so you can come into His presence and His road of glory is forever. To refuse God in this day and hour and follow the path of wickedness is a path we are going to have to live on forever. Are you going to choose a path of light and glory, or a path of darkness and fear? Your choice. Jesus loves you now and forever. God bless you with wise decisions.