I felt like a traitor luring my dog into my vet’s lab room. I did it to save his life. But Max doesn’t know that. Does he think I’m heartless to let the vet draw blood from his thin leg before I take him home?
For months after Max was diagnosed with Addison’s disease, the vet had to draw his blood to check his electrolyte and hormone levels. One week Max stayed planted when the technician came for him. I got to follow the tech, and he willingly followed me.
This made me consider how I trust God when I hurt. It’s easy to believe that if I understood the purpose, I’d trust God better. But is that true?
Imagine explaining Max’s condition to him. I could read him the symptoms off the Internet. I could show him his lab reports. I could remind him how he almost died. But would that help Max have his blood drawn?
My knowledge concerning the treatment of Max’s illness is better than his. I know the pain of the needle is brief and the benefits are lasting. Sometimes God allows us to see the benefit of our losses. But many of our “whys” remain unanswered.
Isaiah 55:8-9 offers some understanding.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts” (NIV).
The difference between my thoughts and my dog’s is so much less than the distance between God’s thoughts and mine. If Max can’t understand why I take him to have his blood drawn, do I think I can understand why God lets pain touch me?
But God has not left me without assurance. He has promised:
- “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17 NIV).
- “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Rom. 8:18 NIV).
A child of God can’t lose a hair without God noticing. Perhaps Romans 8:31 (NASB) best sums up all we really need to remember. “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
Life on this planet is a vapor. But how we live it affects eternity. Pain, loss, and confusion are opportunities to trust our Master. The pain is real, but He allows it only for our greater good.
When I see Max romp across the yard without a symptom of Addison’s, I thank God for blood tests and shots. I remember how sick he was without them. He doesn’t understand the connection. He doesn’t need to. Max only needs to understand that I take care of him.
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Ladies, this Friday, October 11, 2013, I’ll be speaking at a Knowing God luncheon in Cary, NC on “Trusting God When Life Stinks.” I’d love to see you.
Deborah W. Wilson