Laddie was the most wonderful dogÂ in the world. At least thatâ€™s what MattÂ thought. Even running errands for MomÂ was fun for Matt if Laddie came along.
When Matt came home from school,Â Laddie was always at the gate to meetÂ him. But one day, when Matt got home,Â his dog had vanished.
â€œWhereâ€™s Laddie?â€ he asked his Mom.
â€œHeâ€™s probably curled up sleepingÂ somewhere,â€ she replied. â€œHeâ€™ll likely beÂ back soon.â€
By the time Mattâ€™s dad got homeÂ from work, Laddie was still missing.Â â€œWhere did you see him last?â€ he askedÂ Matt.
â€œHe followed me part way to schoolÂ this morning,â€ said Matt. â€œDo youÂ suppose he got lost and couldnâ€™t findÂ his way home?â€
â€œWeâ€™ll go out and look for him afterÂ supper,â€ his father promised. But whenÂ bedtime came, Laddie still hadnâ€™t beenÂ found. Long, lonesome days followed,Â and still no trace could be found of hisÂ dog.
Several weeks later, Matt was walkingÂ past a hedge, when he heard a lowÂ whimper. Peering through the gate, heÂ saw Laddie straining at a rope tied to hisÂ collar. In an instant Matt was throughÂ the gate and fumbling at the knot thatÂ held Laddie prisoner.
â€œWhat are you doing to my dog?â€Â angrily demanded a boy, older andÂ bigger than Matt.
â€œThis is my puppy,â€ answered Matt. â€œIÂ lost him a few weeks ago.â€
â€œYour dog, is it?â€ scoffed the olderÂ boy. â€œWell, heâ€™s mine now. Just try to getÂ him!â€
Matt felt like crying at the thought ofÂ leaving Laddie behind. Suddenly he hadÂ an idea. â€œWould you sell him to me?â€ heÂ asked.
For a while the older boy considered.Â â€œHow much will you give me?â€ he asked.
â€œWell, I only have three dollars. ButÂ you can take it all.â€
â€œTell you what,â€ said the boy, â€œyouÂ give me the three dollars. Then Iâ€™ll untieÂ the dog, and if he wants to go homeÂ with you, you can have him. If he wantsÂ to stay with me, heâ€™s mine.â€
Matt raced home. As he ran, fearÂ gnawed at his heart. What if Laddie hadÂ forgotten him? What if he stayed withÂ the older boy? Minutes later he wasÂ giving all his money to the boy.
â€œOK, pup, itâ€™s up to you,â€ said theÂ boy, as the knot was untied. With oneÂ joyful bark, Laddie ran through the gateÂ toward Matt, and together they ranÂ home.
â€œYou know, son,â€ said Dad, â€œthatÂ reminds me of what the Lord Jesus did Â for us. We were really His because HeÂ created us. But we were lost, just likeÂ your dog was, and tied up by sin. TheÂ Lord Jesus loved us so much that HeÂ came and paid the price to buy us back.
It cost Him all that He had – He gave HisÂ life. And now all those who trust Him asÂ Lord and Saviour are set free toÂ follow Him. They areÂ His forever.â€
Whenever Matt thinks of the timeÂ that Laddie was lost, he remembers thatÂ he was once a lost sinner, that he wasÂ bought with a great price, and that heÂ now belongs to Jesus.
Bible Truth Publishers
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