The grace and beauty of Max’s movements captivate me. I think of a thoroughbred racehorse when he gallops across our yard, head and tail held high. But lately, something has been wrong. He’s stood at the window and watched Cossette, his younger half-sister, romp.
My twenty-two month old standard poodle is aptly named. Besides his giant size, 27 ½ inches at the withers, Maximus is the most regal and affectionate pet I’ve ever had. He’s also the biggest goof ball.
After Cossette was spayed, he gently rested his head over her sedated body. When she bounced back, he yanked that annoying protective cone off her head.
Last week we almost lost our gentle giant. Over the weekend he became extremely listless. On Monday the vet said Max had renal failure. On Tuesday, they suspected Addison’s disease.
Max’s recovery has been slow. Not knowing if he’d recover tromped all over our emotions. I also experienced the truth of Ps. 119:71 (NASB), “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.” I’m calling the lessons I learned through Max’s illness M-axioms.
- God is able to deliver.
When the vet thought Max had kidney failure from a tick-born illness, God reminded me of Psalms 91:3 (NASB) “…it is He who delivers you from…the deadly pestilence.” I asked God to deliver Max. The next day another vet, who’d lost a dog to Addison’s disease early in her career, observed him. She immediately treated him for Addison’s and saved him from a coma or heart attack.
- God shows compassion to the people and pets we love.
God reminded me that He cares about what affects me.
“Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him…
He will call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble” (Psalm 91:14-15 NASB).
- Our compassion for our pets reflects God’s compassion for us.
Does your heart ache when your pet suffers? Mine did. I realized I was experiencing a small taste of how Christ feels when we hurt.
“He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick” (Matthew 14:14 NASB).
- Trusting Christ takes away insecurities and the demand for reassurances.
Our son pointed out how almost losing Max helped him understand why Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith (Matthew 8:5-13). If Jesus had offered to come to our house and heal Max, we’d have jumped on it. His physical presence would have assured us all would be well. But the centurion didn’t need Jesus’ physical presence to believe. His word was enough.
- Knowing God’s compassion calms fears.
Max would only die if it were God’s will. And God’s will for His children is good (Romans 12:2). I can trust in His good will.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will…Do not fear therefore” (Matt. 10:29, 31 NKJV).
Our relationship with Christ is practical. The small deposits of God’s Word I’ve made over the years created a reservoir of comfort to draw upon this week.
This morning Max picked up his ball and rolled it down the outside steps. A good sign, Max is coming back.
Your turn: What helps you trust God when you’re tempted to fret?
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Deborah W. Wilson
Kay Holland says
I absolutely understand the joy of such resurrection recoveries! Tess was
miraculously delivered from macadamia nut poisoning at 3 years [She found a bag in Ray’s backpack and helped herself to the entire bag! Only a few nuts can be deadly.] ,and then she suffered a spinal aneurysm at 7 years that caused paralysis, but three weeks later, she was miraculously restored! That night we took her out to potty which was a horrible ordeal. We had to hold her legs to suspend her and express her bladder. Praying once again, I suddenly felt the unmistakable peace of God’s presence. I saw the sign first in her facial expression. If a Sheltie can smile, she did, and her eyes lit up! I released her, and she began walking around gingerly as if trying out new legs. Moments later, she was running for pure joy! After losing her suddenly to a heart tumor on 7/7/12, I knew for certain that her life’s passage was on God’s timing. It is amazing how much the Lord teaches us through this gift of puppy love!
I share your joy! Kay
Kay, tears came to my eyes as I read your experience with Tess and of the peace God gave you. Answering our prayers is a real gift, but so is granting us peace and acceptance in loss.
Caroline Gavin says
Debbie, thank you for sharing such powerful M-axioms! I am lifting prayers for you and your precious Max! “Our relationship with Christ is practical. The small deposits of God’s Word I’ve made over the years created a reservoir of comfort to draw upon this week.” Beautifully expressed! How blessed we are by the endless river of love and comfort that flows from our Father. When we trust in His compassion, even in the midst of loss, we find peace that transcends understanding. Truly He does work all things for good to them that love Him. The journey with your “gentle giant” is a beautiful example of faith in action, and I thank you for faithfully sharing with us the wisdom your garner from your journey in Jesus!
Caroline, thank you for your encouragement and prayers. Often we don’t know what to pray. That is why I try to pray what’s on my heart, but add, “Your will be done.” Only He knows the total picture and what is really best.
Thanks for sharing these insights. We are thrilled that Max is recovering.
Praise our Lord!
Thanks, Larry. We’re very grateful he’s doing better.