Our story with Jackson this time, starts on a foggy day when he was taking Dora to school. The trail to school wound through the mountains. He loved the special time they had together. The walk was long, but Dora made it fun. She talked to him about school, her teacher, family, and problems she had. He didn’t understand most of what she said, but he patiently listened. Some days like today, she sang songs. He loved to hear her sing. He thought her voice was much prettier than any bird he had heard.
After taking her to school, he moseyed home to see what else was required of him. Dora’s papa had him pull a cart full of fire wood from where it was cut to the house. He didn’t mind standing there grazing when the cart was loaded or when it was unloaded. The hard part was pulling the full, heavy cart. Even though the work was difficult, Jackson kept at it.
After the work was done, Papa told Jackson to go to school and get Dora. He said, “It looks like a storm is brewing, so hurry up.”
The snow started when Jackson was partway to the school. The children were eager to play in the snow. They put on their warm coats, hats, scarfs, and mittens. Dora said to Jackson, “Wait here while I play with the others in the snow.”
Jackson waited and watched her. He liked her to have fun, but his instincts told him they needed to get back on the trail home. The snow came down in large flakes and gathered on the ground, trees and roofs. By the time Dora decided to go home, Jackson had snow all over him. She brushed him off and led him over to the steps so she could climb him. When she was settled, they started up the trail.
Soon the snow was so think they could hardly see. Dora said, “Jackson, I’m frightened and cold.”
He responded by walking faster. The snow was deep. The wind swirled around them. Jackson had a hard time knowing where the trail was. He didn’t want to go off the trail because he could slip, and they could get lost.
“Maybe we should stop, I’m so cold and tired,” said Dora.
Jackson didn’t understand her, but he didn’t like the sound of her voice. He shook his head and kept walking. She bent further down on his back with her head on his neck. He tried to walk smooth so she wouldn’t fall off. He was afraid she had gone to sleep and might slip.
He kept walking. He was worried about her. He knew he needed to get her home. Jackson sensed they were in danger and it was up to him to get them safely back. Plodding on, step by step with the wind blowing snow at him, he kept going. It was getting very difficult. The snow was up to his knees and he could hardly see. The old Jackson would have given up, sat down, and waited it out. The new Jackson used his will and perseverance to push through the snow and cold.
He was tired. He couldn’t recognize where they were. He didn’t know how much farther they needed to go. The only thought was to get her home out of the cold. That meant putting one hoof in front of the other.
About the time he thought they should have been home, he saw a light glowing in front of them. Jackson took two more steps and Dora’s papa’s hand grabbed Jackson’ bridle.
“There you are! Come on, it’s only a short way now,” said Papa.
Finally they made it to the barn. Papa lifted Dora off Jackson and carried her into the house. He placed her on her bed, and Dora’s mama got her into dry clothes. Papa ran back into the barn. He took the saddle off Jackson and put him into his stall. He gave him water and oats. While rubbing him dry he said, “Thank you, Jackson, for bringing my little girl home. I know you are tired. I’m sure the storm was hard to bear. You showed us what you are made of, and I’m proud you are my donkey! Sleep well, my friend.”
Jackson loved the rub down and the soft, kind sounding words.
Dora sat by the fire and ate warm soup. She asked how Jackson was. Papa told her he was fine. He said, “That donkey sure loves you to work so hard to get you home.”
Dora smiled. “I love him too. He is my best friend.”
Girls and boys, it is good to have a strong will and perseverance and use it to help others. We need the help of the Lord to have perseverance. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. We need to have perseverance, being steadfast in serving the Lord. 1Corinthians 15:58 Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…
Memorize: Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.