Put On Your Shirt

Smokey enjoying a Fall afternoon.


In Sunday School, our leader lead us in a lesson on what is happiness. Before reading scriptures on true happiness, she had pictures posted of different people expressing happiness. We were to pick which picture looked the happiest. Of course, we all had our own interpretations of happiness and we all chose a different pictures. Then, we were to give descriptive words on happiness. Some of these words were contentment, security, feeling loved, and the list went on. Once we read the scriptures, words like faith, trust, and wisdom were written on the board in defining happiness.

When I adopted Smokey, the first thing I did along with getting the needed supplies for him is that I got him a few shirts. Jim rolled his eyes and said I was turning into a middle-aged crazy dog woman. My response was that Smokey was mine and if I wanted to dress him I will!  Then, as time has gone one, Jim has seen the benefits of Smokey wearing his little t-shirts. Smokey is white with dark streaks, hence the name Smokey. Since Smokey is this color, he very easily blends in with the asphalt in the driveway and street thus, making it hard to see him.

Although Jim saw this benefit, he still rolled his eyes a little until the other day. One thing Jim said he would do for me with Smokey was to help give him a weekly bath. As Jim prepped Smokey for his bath, he had to take Smokey’s shirt off. Jim laughed when Smokey raised his front legs like a little kid to have his shirt taken off. After the bath, Jim and I dried Smokey and we decided to not put on his clean shirt right away. The afternoon progressed and Smokey became anything but cooperative and he would whine which is something he does not normally do. After taking Smokey out for the fifteenth time in ten minute intervals in attempts to make sure needs were taken care of, Jim jokingly said; “why don’t you put his clean shirt on and see if that helps.” Smokey and I went inside and I began to put a clean shirt on him. Just as he did when Jim undressed him, Smokey raised his little front legs for me to put the new shirt on. His tail wagged and he seemed to begin finding contentment. Then, suddenly the whining and misbehaving began to cease. Smokey turned back into the subdued, quiet and loving pup that I know. He was content.

Jim and I talked about this observation of Smokey being dressed versus being not dressed. I said it is his sense of security. We don’t know what he may have gone through prior to our adopting him from the Rescue home. But, the shirt seems to make Smokey happy, content, secure and a message that he is loved.

Where do we find true happiness? Are we like Smokey in a way that we won’t behave until we have that one thing we think makes us happy and gives us a feeling of security? Are we constantly seeking something or someone to feel loved and content? I heard not long ago about how the prescriptions for antidepressants have increased. More and more people are in a battle with depression.  They long for that feeling of happiness, security and the feeling of being loved.

“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure” (Psalm 16:9) In this Psalm, God is affirming that we can always have joy and happiness no matter the circumstances that face us. The mistake that we make in seeking happiness is that we allow circumstances to dictate how we feel. We invest ourselves too much into the world and what others think. By doing this, we lose sight of the true happiness God has for us through Him.  This is why it is so important to go through each day in awareness of God’s presence. He is with us in ALL things. When we acknowledge His presence, we are more apt to do what is right and experience joy through all circumstances that come our way.

Are you running around feeling lost? Are you whining and complaining? Are you looking for true contentment? Then, put on the shirt of God. Wrap yourself in His word and acknowledge His constant presence in your daily walk. It is when you do this, you may just be like Smokey. You will settle down, experience joy and you will find true contentment.

Soak in His mighty presence today and experience His joy!



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