Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)

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Spending time with the grandgirlies is always a treat and this past month, we met the family in San Diego for a few days of fun and relaxation.

While the drive from Tucson to San Diego is an easy one, we enjoy listening to an audible book to make the trip go faster. This time we listened to a new author and his latest book: Robert Crais’ Suspect.

One of the more interesting characters in the book is Maggie, a German Shepherd, trained as an IED sniffer dog for the Marines. The story opens in Afghanistan but quickly moves to Los Angeles. Rather than give the plot way, let it suffice to say that she becomes part of the K-nine unit for LAPD.

Her handler, Scott, is not a dog person but being part of the K-nine unit is the only way for him continue as a policeman. The twists and turns of their pairing and partnership introduced to me a whole new world of the abilities of a dog and their mentality towards their handler.

A dog’s purpose is to please and protect her master. He is alpha and they are “pack.” Maggie, all 85 pounds of her, would jump into the back of the car and immediately straddle the console, at the ready for whatever was next.

Both dog and man had injuries to overcome and learning to depend on each other helped in their healing. Maggie would lean against Scott as they drove and initially, he tried to push her back but she resisted. It didn’t take long for him to lean into her, too, as their lives took on intrigue and danger.

That picture of leaning in is what God wants us to know in both our relationship with Him and with those special people we count on — spouse, family, or friend. When the going gets tough — lean in. The warmth, strength, and even just listening and feeling the breathing encourages us to keep on keeping on. Someone will pick us up and bind up our wounds. Someone will stand with us when the world is fierce. Someone will fight with us and protect our back. If the world fails us, remember that Someone is Jesus.