Muffin and the mamba

Sharper focus

by Linda Manhardt, Major –

Shortly after I was moved from the Western Territory to the Training College in Kenya, I received an unbelievably wonderful birthday gift from a frienda little half dachshund, half Jack Russell Terrier puppy, whom I named Muffin.

Muffin was the smartest, cutest, most cuddly puppy in the world. She became my faithful companion, and when it was time to return to America, of course, she came home with me.

The second time I went to Africa, I was sent to Tanzania to open a new training college. Muffin, of course, returned to her “Motherland” with me. She delighted and amused both staff and cadets and was somewhat of a “figure” on the compound.

On occasion, I would take Muffin to the office with me. Most days, I taught one or more classes, and she quietly waited in my office for my return from the classroom. She was never a problem.

Until one day…

It was near the end of a doctrine class and I was teaching about how Satan knows our weaknesses and cleverly tempts us in those areas. Seriously into the lesson, I was bordering on “preaching” when Muffin began barking loudly.

Annoyed at the distraction, I continued on with my lesson with faith and God’s power, I said, we have the victory over temptation. We are more than conquerors! We have no reason to fear!

The barking continued, and that bad dog sounded almost frantic!

As I was teaching, I said to the cadets, “Satan doesn’t want me to teach this lesson! He is trying to distract me. But we don’t have to give in…”

The frantic barking continued.

Finally, I caved. We got to a point where I could assign some cadets to read supporting Scripture passages, and I shot down to my office to verbally abuse my dog.

I was amazed to find a dead green snake lying on the floor in front of my desk. Muffin was still going at it, grabbing it behind the neck and shaking it.

After class, my assistant confirmedit was a green mamba! One of the most deadly snakes in Africa! Muffin was not a bad dogshe was a hero!

God had provided an illustration for the lesson that I taught that day.

All morning, I had sat in my office with a deadly snake! I was unaware of the danger, and could have easily been struck down by it. But God provided protection in the form of a little, short-legged, feisty brown dog. He rescued me even when I didn’t realize I needed it.

I’ve just recently lost my little friend, and although I miss her, I will always be grateful for the lesson that God taught me through her.

God is faithful. Trust him in the moments of life when danger and temptation are obvious and for the times when they are not. He loves and has a perfect plan for each one of his children. He protects useven in our oblivionand rescues us from harm.

In the times when we feel overwhelmed, like there is no way out, he will make a way.

The key is to trust in the one who loves us and wants his best for us.

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