“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?
Max 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!
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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.