Earlier this week I watched the West Minster Kennel Club Dog Show and as I was looking at all of the breeds of dogs that were being shown, one particular dog in the herding division caught my eye. I don’t know about you, but when God speaks to me, He usually does it through something I hear, something I see, or something I read. This time it was through something that the Emcee of the show said about this particular dog. He said that the Beauceron is called “the living fence“.
Wikipedia says that the Beauceron is “used both to both guard and herd sheep and cattle. It was once very useful against wolves. The breed served in both world wars as messenger dog, supply transport dog, land mine detection dog, search dog, police dog and rescue dog. The Beauceron is known in France as a guard dog, a helper around the farm, and/or a ring sport dog (primarily protection training). This athletic, healthy and long-lived breed has been bred to be intelligent, calm, gentle, and fearless.”
The way that the Emcee described the Beauceron – the living fence – and all of the words that Wikipedia used to tell exactly what this dog does immediately made me think of what the Holy Spirit does in the lives of believers. Jesus told his disciples in John 14:16-18 that He was going to send the Holy Spirit/Comforter to be with them after He ascended into heaven. He promised that He would not leave us as orphans.
The Beauceron is a herd dog that works with sheep. Now anyone who knows anything about sheep knows that they are just simply not too smart, directionless, defenseless animals who require a shepherd. In Psalm 23, God compares humans and their natures to sheep. Isaiah 53:6 also calls humans sheep. The job of a shepherd is to meet every need of the sheep: food, water, rest, safety and direction. The Beauceron is a sheep herder or a shepherd if you will.
When a woman becomes a widow, she loses the earthly protection and shepherding of her husband. She suddenly feels very vulnerable and, in fact, can be abused by others who want to take advantage of her vulnerability. But, if she has accepted Christ as her personal Savior, she has her own “Beauceron” – the Holy Spirit – who is acting as her living fence or Shepherd walking up and down and all around the parameters of her heart and life guarding and protecting her, helping her, speaking messages to her heart from God, supplying for her every need, and searching for and making her aware of land mines in the life of a believer that can trip her up.
Amazing the things (in this case a dog) that God uses in my life to call attention to different truths! And how comforting it is to me to know that I have the Holy Spirit acting as a ” Beauceron/living fence” around my life doing all of these wonderful things to take care of me.