Fresh Hope – 13th February 2019

I love dogs. I love that God made these creatures that have skills and abilities that far surpass that of humans. Humans then rely on dogs for different jobs, and in return dogs are thrilled to receive a small amount of play or praise as their hard-earned reward. There are police dogs, guard dogs, herding dogs, search and rescue dogs, medical dogs, military dogs, and service dogs.  


What often grants them these roles is their ability to smell. They can sniff out the faintest traces of drugs, bombs, guns, and suspects. Some medical dogs can even smell the slightest drop in blood-sugar levels. Other dogs can hunt down a missing body by tracing the smell of a single drop of blood or tooth. The number of receptors in their nose, coupled with the design of their face, helps dogs to absorb scents. But it takes more than just their God-given, natural ability for a dog to do its job. A master or trainer must take the dog’s natural inclination and enhance it. It takes a working dog up to 600 hours of training to get them to hone their natural ability into a skill set.  


We all have inbuilt, God-given, natural inclinations, skill sets and gifts. We all desire to achieve and succeed in them. But do we take them, train them, hone them, and sharpen them? Do we fan into flame our gifts? (2 Timothy 1:6). Taking the time to invest into your skills and abilities is honouring to God as you are stewarding that which He has given you. Often we want the reward, without the hard-work. We want to ‘make-it’, without the time and dedication it takes to get where we want to be.  

When we take what God has put in us seriously, we find mentors, commit time to sharpen the gift, actively and intentionally seek growth, we stay open to feedback, learn from our mistakes and do the very best that we can.  


A dog that can fetch and return a ball, is the same dog that can find a missing person. The only difference is that one has been trained and worked hard to enhance what is naturally in it. What has God put in you that you need to take seriously?

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.