Shorty

by Bryant Evans on October 12, 2014

pekShorty was my first dog. He was a Pekingese mix and walked very low to the ground. When I was about 12, Shorty was injured in a dogfight and required several weeks of TLC before he

was back to his usual health. I remember taking him for a walk in nearby woods. The sun set too fast and we were in darkness. The fastest way home was through a patch of recently cut brush. On most days Shorty would have been just fine and would have hopped along happily as he followed. But not this night. Everywhere he turned there was more brush and debris that he could not climb over. He was trapped. Every direction was blocked. But I was there with him. So I eased him into my arms and carried him through the brush until we reached the ease of a gravel road. I put him down and he made his way home, following every step I made.

I learned a lesson that night about our Father.

Shorty got stuck. I get stuck. I am trapped by problems that I cannot overcome. When that happens, God eases me into his arms and carries me to safety. He does for me what I cannot do for myself. God carries me over the turmoil of life.

God carried Noah over the turmoil of a destroyed, wicked world (). God carried Abraham out of an idolatrous nation, led him through distant wanderings and made great and abiding promises to him (). He brought Israel out of Egyptian bondage but then protected them as they wandered 40 years in the hostile wilderness. He finally brought them into the land of Canaan. The Father brought the Son through the darkness of Gethsemane and Golgotha and set him over all others ().

He will do the same for you. Ask. Trust.

I once hesitated to ask God to deliver me from problems I created. I believed it was true that if I made my bed, I should sleep in it. But that is not Biblical. Each of us stands condemned of our own choices () and cannot free ourselves from that condemnation (; ). We sin and we ask God for deliverance as we should. God will help us out of our own foolishness. He will save us from ourselves.

is a powerful chapter. It opens with a declaration of God’s ability to save but mankind’s building of an impenetrable wall of sin. The prophet continues to reveal God’s displeasure at sin and his coming justice. But then at the end, “And a redeemer will come to Zion” (). When we’ve built a wall that separates us from God, when we are stuck, a deliverer will come.

Shorty understood deliverance. That night, I was his redeemer, his deliverer. I did for him what he could not do for himself. I wasn’t angry and was never agitated. I just loved my old dog.

At 6-1 I have never been called Shorty. But for today, feel free to call me Shorty. I’ll understand.

Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at bryantevans.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.
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11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. (ESV)

15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” But Abram said, “O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Behold, you have given me no offspring, and a member of my household will be my heir.” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him: “This man shall not be your heir; your very own son shall be your heir.” And he brought him outside and said, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.

And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

12 As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him. 13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. 14 But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. 15 As for yourself, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. 16 And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”

17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, 19 the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, (ESV)

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (ESV)

14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.

James 1:15

15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (ESV)

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (ESV)

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (ESV)

59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden his face from you
so that he does not hear.
For your hands are defiled with blood
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies;
your tongue mutters wickedness.
No one enters suit justly;
no one goes to law honestly;
they rely on empty pleas, they speak lies,
they conceive mischief and give birth to iniquity.
They hatch adders’ eggs;
they weave the spider’s web;
he who eats their eggs dies,
and from one that is crushed a viper is hatched.
Their webs will not serve as clothing;
men will not cover themselves with what they make.
Their works are works of iniquity,
and deeds of violence are in their hands.
Their feet run to evil,
and they are swift to shed innocent blood;
their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;
desolation and destruction are in their highways.
The way of peace they do not know,
and there is no justice in their paths;
they have made their roads crooked;
no one who treads on them knows peace.

Therefore justice is far from us,
and righteousness does not overtake us;
we hope for light, and behold, darkness,
and for brightness, but we walk in gloom.
10 We grope for the wall like the blind;
we grope like those who have no eyes;
we stumble at noon as in the twilight,
among those in full vigor we are like dead men.
11 We all growl like bears;
we moan and moan like doves;
we hope for justice, but there is none;
for salvation, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you,
and our sins testify against us;
for our transgressions are with us,
and we know our iniquities:
13 transgressing, and denying the Lord,
and turning back from following our God,
speaking oppression and revolt,
conceiving and uttering from the heart lying words.
14 Justice is turned back,
and righteousness stands far away;
for truth has stumbled in the public squares,
and uprightness cannot enter.
15 Truth is lacking,
and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey.

The Lord saw it, and it displeased him
that there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man,
and wondered that there was no one to intercede;
then his own arm brought him salvation,
and his righteousness upheld him.
17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
and a helmet of salvation on his head;
he put on garments of vengeance for clothing,
and wrapped himself in zeal as a cloak.
18 According to their deeds, so will he repay,
wrath to his adversaries, repayment to his enemies;
to the coastlands he will render repayment.
19 So they shall fear the name of the Lord from the west,
and his glory from the rising of the sun;
for he will come like a rushing stream,
which the wind of the Lord drives.

20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord.

21 “And as for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord: “My Spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the Lord, “from this time forth and forevermore.” (ESV)

20 “And a Redeemer will come to Zion,
to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,” declares the Lord. (ESV)

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