What Good Can Come from Bad News?

“The vet called. The tests on Max came back positive.” My husband’s words punched me in the stomach. Have you ever felt slugged by unwelcomed news?

IMG_0719Max is our two-year-old standard poodle. If I could use only one word to describe him, it would be magnificent. Max’s beautiful tail waves like a banner when he glides down the sidewalk. His coat is as thick as lamb’s fleece. When he was a puppy, we marveled the first time he watched a distant plane cross the sky. His sensitive spirit knows when to be gentle and when to play hard.

Max also impresses strangers. One man ran out of his house to get a closer look. Another pulled his truck over to ask about him. Perfect strangers want to have their pictures taken with him. Cosette, our other poodle, is cute but Max is magnificent.

The vet had tested Max for Masticatory Muscle Myositis (MMM). I’d hoped Max’s issues were a side effect of Addison’s disease. The descriptions of MMM are too horrible to fathom.

Knowing Max’s challenging health issues, you might think we wish we’d chosen another puppy. Not at all.

As my daughter said, even if MMM takes Max, it has been worth it to have him. We wouldn’t trade a few years with Max and all of his problems for decades with another healthy dog. A day doesn’t pass without him making us laugh. He has taught us much about love, life, and faith.

Our son Brant expressed how Max’s challenges have refined his faith. “I had to ask myself,” he said, “if I’ve really trusted God with my eternity. Because, if I can trust Him with something that big, shouldn’t I be able to trust Him with Max?”

Brant was expressing the truth of 1 Peter 1:6-7. Fire purifies gold so that it will gleam for a little while on earth. Trials purify faith so it will sparkle for eternity. Watching Brant’s faith shine has filled me with joy. We have great hope God will transform Magnificent Max into our Miracle Max. But, no matter how this turns out, Max has been worth it!

If we can say that about Max now, imagine how we will respond when we are finally able to see how God used our temporal pain to bring us eternal joy. Grieving a loss, a beloved family member, friend, or even a pet, is not wasted when it polishes our faith. With the Psalmist, we learn to say “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25, NIV).

God cares about our challenges and uses them to polish our faith. One day, we will see the result and gasp—it was worth it!

To comment click here.


Debbie Wilson

Deborah W. Wilson

Mark your calendars. Ladies, my daughter Ginny will be leading a ten week summer Bible study that will begin on Tuesday, June 3rd. They meet from 7 – 9 in the evenings and will use my study, Little Women—Big God.

Email: LighthouseMinistries@mac.com

More From This Category

God’s Amazing Rescue Out of War-Torn Israel

God’s Amazing Rescue Out of War-Torn Israel

My friend Deb DeArmond and her husband Ron were in Israel when the war started on Oct. 7, 2023. Here’s the incredible story of God’s presence and provision for them in that harrowing time. God—an Ever-Present Help in Trouble Wailing sirens startled Deb and her group....

read more
4 Who Practiced Faith Despite Strong Doubts

4 Who Practiced Faith Despite Strong Doubts

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” —Psalm 20:7 I tend to associate faith with feeling confident. A fearless, ready to tackle the world attitude. But that’s not the picture the heroes in Hebrews 11 paint. Moses...

read more



  1. Judy Bechtel

    Debbie, Hi! Your post brought tears to my eyes. Both of sorrow and joy. I’m sorry that Max’s diagnosis was confirmed. Recently (Jan 4, 2014) losing our beloved Boxer -Scooby, I understand the “punch in the gut” from a vet call. I also understand that the love we were given by him was a gift that will be treasured forever. Something to look back on fondly when the other trials comes our way. Prayers for Max and your family.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Judy, I know you understand. Thanks for your prayers and for sharing your recent loss. They add so much to our lives.

  2. Ann

    Amen and absolutely Deb. I am praying for your Magnificent Max to experience God’s healing and become Miracle Max although I think he is already. What you share about how these trials purify our faith is a very important point. There is a purpose to them if we allow them to do that. We lost 2 babies in between our three and the second time I remember God leading me to that passage where the 3 Hebrew children were going to be thrown into the fire and said they knew their God could save them, but even if He didn’t they wouldn’t serve anyone else. I knew that was my answer – I knew He could work a miracle but I felt He wanted me to be sure that no matter what, I would still trust, love and serve Him. It was pivotal in my life.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, your story touches me deeply. When God uses loss to purify our faith, it brings a joy that can’t be described. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Cindy Finley

    Love this! And you are so right. If I have trusted God with my eternity, I can surely trust him with everything else. Thank you for sharing magnificent Max with us!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Cindy. It blessed my heart to hear my tender-hearted son express those words.

  4. Hap

    Debbie, I admire your attitude and faith. None of us lives forever and dogs see to be with us for too little time. We have lost 6 greyhounds over the past 20 years and we always are thankful for the time we had together and that we were able to give them a good home.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Losing 6 in 20 years is a lot. I know you give them a good home and they gave you much love back. They are special gifts. Thanks for sharing, Hap.

  5. Stacey

    Debbie, Contact Dr. Michael Dym in Florida or Dr. Will Falconer in Texas-their contact info. is on my MMM page. They can help you, it’s your best chance at healing Max they will work with you and Max via phone. They use homeopathy, and will listen to you describe Max’s symptoms and prescribe and mail medicine to you. I wish I had found them when my Kona had MMM- Call them today ♥
    All my best,
    Stacey Zanella

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Stacey. I’ll check on this.

Refreshing Faith Blog

Pin It on Pinterest