“But my righteous one will live by faith” (Hebrews 10:38 NIV).
I think standard poodles fall somewhere between people and pooches on the animal hierarchy—maybe slightly closer to people. Besides entertaining us, Max, our male standard, is like Nana, the canine nanny to the Darling children in Peter Pan. Before retiring, he patrols the yard and marches from room to room to check on everyone, including his sleeping poodle sister.
Maybe we feel especially close to our 85-pound buddy because we almost lost him three times in his first three years of life. After surviving emergency colon surgery, we were heartbroken a year later when he was back in the vet hospital fighting for his life. We had returned from church one Sunday to discover an upset tummy had completely zapped Max’s strength. He was so weak his tongue couldn’t even bring water to his mouth no matter how hard he lapped.
Confusion only added to my grief and helplessness. Why would the Lord allow Max to suffer again, so soon? Why would He save him only to have him at death’s door a year later? As I pondered this, I remembered the story of the man who was born blind. The disciples asked their own “why?”
“‘Master,’ his disciples asked him, ‘why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?’ ‘Neither,’ Jesus answered. ‘But to demonstrate the power of God’” (John 9:2-3 TLB).
“To demonstrate the power of God.” I wasn’t sure what that meant in relation to Max, but it gave me hope that God was going to reveal Himself in a mighty way.
Our vet promised to call as soon as she knew anything. During this wait my husband began an appointment with an apology to a new client, “Since we have a very sick dog, I’ll need to answer the phone if it rings, in case it’s our vet.”
“Is it Max?” she asked?
Stunned, Larry asked how she knew our dog. It turned out she worked at our vet’s office and had linked what he said together with the very sick dog they were treating.
That day, in Larry’s office, this woman gave her heart to Christ. God used Max’s illness to open her eyes to His plan for her.
In the meanwhile, our vet, who had lost a Great Dane to Addison’s disease during her residency, recognized the symptoms in Max. She began treatment before the diagnosis was confirmed. Her quick response saved his life.
Our crisis with Max has taught me God’s power shines when we’re helpless or stuck. It has taught me to ask God to demonstrate His power in setbacks. Telling myself, “This is for God’s glory” generates hope when I can’t see how any good could come from a situation. And guess what? God often surprises me in how He shows up!
What event has threatened your peace? If you knew God was at work in it, how would that make a difference in how you faced it?
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Debbie W. Wilson
Congratulations to the winner of last week’s give-away: Maria Gloria Perez Recio!