We’re lost!» little Colleen whispered as she gripped her older brother’s hand. «I don’t see our car or the road. I’m scared!»
Danny Greenwood looked down at his sister. «Don’t cry. We’ll be OK.» But he didn’t feel as confident as he sounded.
The children and their parents had been traveling through a lonely stretch of Nevada. As night approached, they’d stopped to camp. While Dad and Mom set up the tent, Colleen and Danny had wandered off in search of adventure. Somehow, they’d become disoriented and gotten lost in a featureless land filled with rattlesnakes and scorpions.
«I think we’d better pray,» Danny encouraged. «God knows where we are, even though we don’t.»
The two children knelt on the sand. «Dear God,» he said, «we’re lost and don’t know our way back. Please help us.» Colleen tried to pray, but she was too scared. So she just said, «Amen.»
When they stood up, everything looked the same, except it was getting even darker. Suddenly Danny lifted a finger. «Listen!» he whispered. «I hear a dog.»
«We don’t have a dog,» Colleen reminded him. Then she heard a distant barking.
The children began following the sound, moving cautiously around bushes and rocks, scampering up hills and running through shallow depressions. Finally they arrived back at the campsite, where a dog stood off to one side barking at their parents. There were no houses around. No one seemed to own the mutt. But there it stood, barking.
Prayer opens our eyes and ears to what can save us, even if it’s the persistent barking of a mysterious dog in a darkening desert.