My Six-pound Miracle

It seemed like an insignificant suggestion at the time. Now, a year later, there is no logical explanation for what prompted me to make a random stop at the pet store on our way to buy a Christmas tree. When I review the decision, it makes no sense. That’s exactly why it’s a miracle.

Of course, you know him as Toto, my beloved dog who ended up in my lap and then, surprisingly, in my life. Some might say that I fell in love with this tiny treasure because of his name. As a writer whose blog is called “Tales of Oz,” how could I possibly resist an adorable Toto? But when animals like Toto are rescued, not only are they given new lives but often new names. When we met, I had no idea that his original name was Toto — his collar read “Ebenezer.”

Ebenezer. It seemed like the wrong name from the start. Scrooge, the grumpy old man from “A Christmas Carol,” immediately came to mind. Until recently I had no idea that Ebenezer actually has a deeper meaning, one that is as significant to me as Toto.

The name appears in another rescue story. Things were not looking good for God’s people. They had strayed from their faith and were worshipping false gods. To make matters worse, their archenemy surrounded them waiting to attack. But the prophet Samuel would not be dismayed as he assembled the people, called them to repent, and prayed to God for help. It was a victory that the Israelites could not accomplish on their own. As the Philistines approached for battle, Samuel offered a sacrifice to the Lord for their deliverance. At the exact moment of their imminent defeat, God rescued His people and destroyed the enemy. After the unlikely victory, Samuel took a stone and set it up as a memorial. He called it Ebenezer which means, “The Lord has helped us.”

Help. That is what God did for me when he brought Toto into my life. The funny thing is that I didn’t realize I even needed help at the time. For the Israelites it was obvious as mass armies surrounded them. For me my enemies were less visible. But God knew. Toto has comforted me, inspired my writing, provided nonstop entertainment, connected me with strangers who have become friends, and has served as a daily tangible reminder of unconditional love. God knew exactly what I needed and then delivered it to me in the form of an adorable furry companion right in my lap. In many ways we rescued each other.

Miracles. They happen all the time. But don’t take my word for it. If doubt remains, a book will soon be published called, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Miracles and More.” Contained in it will be many unexplainable encounters and miraculous stories like Toto’s -- actually, including Toto’s.

You see, on Nov. 26, I received an email that our story was selected to be included in this book. I thought it was strange that the email arrived on a Sunday. Later I smiled as I realized the significance of the timing — it was the anniversary of Toto’s adoption. A year ago on that day God brought Toto into my life. The. exact. day.

God helps us all the time -- sometimes it’s just so obvious that it cannot be denied. Every time I take sweet Ebenezer Toto into my arms I thank God for my little miracle.

Do you believe in miracles?

“Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Jeshanah, and named it Ebenezer; for he said, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.’ So the Philistines were subdued and did not again enter the territory of Israel; the hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.” (1 Samuel 7:12-13)

 

16 Responses

  1. Malickjoan@att.net' Joan Malick
    Julie: this is your all time best - a masterpiece of theology, Bible teaching and a story revealing the everydayness of God's grace and favor blessing our lives. Congratulations on your writing being selected again for national publication!! And high fives and "high paws" for the miracle of Toto. Joan
    • Thank you, Dr. Joan, for your love and encouragement - for so many years. You are a living Barnabas, and I'm so grateful to have you in my life (And Toto too:) To God be the glory!
  2. b.cascio@sbcglobal.net' Beth
    Love your furry little miracle!
    • Me too! Toto IS a miracle and I'm blessed to be reminded of God's goodness every time he snuggles in my lap. Thanks for reading and taking time to comment.
  3. Garciajackie2000@gmail.com' Jackie Garcia
    Adorable and unforgettable. Amazing how direct our Father can be sometimes. Just blessings all around us. I love how you say who rescue who? Our God provides all we need to be rescued we just need to be aware, communicate with Him and He will show up even as a little and adorable doggie.
    • I totally agree, Jackie. Sometimes God is that still, small voice but sometimes He speaks louder and is more obvious. Toto is a daily example of God's grace and love for me. Thanks for taking time to read and share your thoughts.
  4. tebradley50@yahoo.com' Teresa
    I believe in miracles!!! Toto, my little buddy, has defiantly brought joy and unconditional love to the Osborne residence. In fact, I have witnessed his love, filling the hearts of the young, middle-aged, old, broken-hearted, depressed, addicted, believers and sinners!!! What a ministry! Looking forward to seeing more of Toto around town!
    • You will, sister! Wherever we go, Toto brings smiles and so much joy. Stay tuned to see where God leads us on our yellow brick road...
  5. janetjegen@yahoo.com' Janet
    I love this Toto story, Julie. With your compassion and good heart, you create miracles whenever you rescue a creature, dog or human, who needs to be loved and saved from despair. You've been my miracle worker for many years.
    • Thanks for the beautiful comments, Janet, but I'm no miracle worker -- it's all God. I am the recipient of the blessings and miracles that God creates. I know it was no coincidence that we met Toto that day. It was through that still, small voice of God that prompted us to stop at Petco and then led us to cross paths. I have learned that when you listen for God's voice and obey, miracles will abound. Thanks for your love and encouragement through the years.
  6. lmaggiejordan@hotmail.com' Lorna Jordan
    Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart psalm 37:4 kept thinking of this as you shared this delightful miracle. Now Toto Ebenezer has to be his full name. I loved this story!!
    • Thanks, Lorna! I love that scripture, and I believe it. Ebenezer Toto is definitely a treasure and a miracle. Thanks for reading and taking time to comment.
  7. cindyquinn721@gmail.com' Cindy Quinn
    An absolute Miracle... I believe!
    • There is no doubt in my mind! Toto is a gift from Heaven.
  8. Ivanduyn@aol.com' Ina Van Duyn
    Julie, I definitely do believe God provides miracles. It is just up to us to see them & recognize them. Thank you for this!!
    • You are welcome, Ina! Miracles happen all the time. Christmas season is always a wonderful reminder of the greatest miracle of all - Jesus.

Leave a comment