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Research shows pet dogs may give owners important benefits. Taking dogs for a walk increases exercise; caring for a dog makes you feel needed and wanted. Dog owners often meet new friends. Dogs offer comfort and ease anxiety. They add structure to life because they require regular care. Stroking a dog may lower blood pressure and make you feel less stressed. Of course, pets are not for everybody, but for many, they add companionship and quality to life. As I reflected on some benefits of owning a pet, I could not help thinking about the beneficial companionship we can enjoy based upon our relationship with God. God’s Spirit lives inside of believers, and to the extent that we draw near to Him, God provides companionship to us. He comforts us through our troubles and trials. And more than His presence today, we read these words in Revelation 21: “I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.’” In that new environment of bliss, we will enjoy forever the security, love, and companionship of our Heavenly Father.

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