By Jennifer McAlister

On June 27th, I opened my Bible to the following Psalm:

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
Your justice like the great deep.
You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
Psalm 36:6

That meant the world to me because I was grieving the death of my beloved dog, Jett, who died the day before.

It’s amazing how much we love our animals.

It’s amazing how strong the ache of sorrow is.

It’s amazing how the God of the whole universe meets us in our pain.

With all that is going on in the world, He showed me through His word that I wasn’t alone in my grief. He was with me. What are the odds that Psalm 36:6 was the verse I read that day? This promise provided comfort and I was grateful,  but I still felt the sting of Jett’s absence. In fact, I was so distraught over losing my constant companion that I googled, “Why do we love our dogs so much?” The article that appeared said this:

“To understand the kinship of dogs and humans, we might look at the qualities that humans should have. They include: no judgment, genuineness, trustworthiness, acceptance, respect, forgiveness, support, dependability, thoughtfulness, being a good listener, sharing humor, and love.”

Our four-legged friends love us unconditionally and that attribute alone, makes them good reflections of God. Hebrews 13:8 reminds us that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Like God, their love is consistent and constant, in spite of our many flaws. Consistent love, consistent acceptance, consistent companionship.

Consistency anchors our souls in an ever-increasing storm-tossed world.

As the day went on, I continued on the horrible roller coaster ride of grief. Up one moment then plunging into the abyss of sorrow the next, with no indication when this ride would stop. Then I remembered that I belonged to the Great Physician. I couldn’t will my pain away, I couldn’t positively think my pain away, and I couldn’t convice, bargain, or bribe my pain away. So I did the only thing I could do.

I whispered a prayer.

“Lord, I surrender my broken heart to you.”

Every time the wave of sorrow would wash over me, I would repeat my heart-felt sentence, “Lord, I surrender my broken heart to you.”

It turns out that Jesus and I were in constant conversation that day. I had previously begged God to give me a miracle and heal Jett, but that didn’t happen. The greater miracle would now be the healing of a heart that felt unrepairable.

Because the pain was constant, I stayed in close contact with the Healer of my soul and slowly but surely, the pain started to subside. I was becoming the recipient of a miracle.

It was then that I realized what a privilege it is to surrender our hearts to Him.

Our broken hearts, our angry hearts, our fearful hearts, our lonely hearts, our disillusioned hearts. Any prayer we whisper, He hears. Pain is inevitable in this world but if we take it to Him, He will transform it into a blessing that keeps us close to Him. We are in no greater place than in the Hands of our loving Father.

I feel sorry for those who look to temporary relief to control their pain.  Why? Because the hurt will always return with a vengeance that demands payment, with interest, later. The temporary fix turns into a lifetime of sorrow, addiction, dependency, and kicking the can down the road. The enemy of our souls likes to kick the hardest when we are down. Don’t give him a foothold in your life and don’t entertain him by listening to his lies. Instead, look to Jesus who is the God of all comfort. He will give you His presence, providence, protection, and peace.

He is our healer and our very great reward.


“Do not be afraid, Abram.
    I am your shield,
    your very great reward”
Genesis 15:1

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
Hebrews 6:19

“…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and [a]the fellowship of His sufferings…
Philippians 3:10