Cross Training

Animal Planet

Our white lab, Zuno, lives to shed. His mission in life consists of two things: 1) hanging out with me, and 2) making sure I have dog hair to vacuum each week. How I love that silly dog. God shows His love for us in a special way when He provides furry companions. God even used His creatures to help Jesus. Look at this verse:

“…and he (Jesus) was in the desert forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.” Mark 1: 13 (NIV)

Mark is the only gospel writer to mention the wild animals with Jesus. Picture the scene. Jesus’ stomach is growling because He hasn’t eaten anything for days. Satan, seeking to wear him down, is throwing temptations at Jesus like a major league pitcher facing his toughest batter. What does God do to encourage and strengthen His Son? He sends something warm and furry. Here is a list of wild animals that lived in Israel:

Wild donkeys, badgers, bears, boars, coneys, deer, foxes, wild goats, hares, ferrets, weasels, hyenas, jackals, leopards, lions, mice, moles, ibex, wild sheep, wolves *

Pick your favorite and think about how that animal might have comforted Jesus. I’m thinking lions and leopards. Can you hear them purring? Would the wolves play fetch? Thank Him for the animals you know and love. Now, excuse me, I need to vacuum.

*James I. Packer, Merrill C. Tenney, and Wiliam White, Jr., The Bible Almanac (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1980).