Psalm 119:97-104 Mem
Oh, how I love your instructions!
I think about them all day long.
Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
for they are my constant guide.
Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,
for I am always thinking of your laws.
I am even wiser than my elders,
for I have kept your commandments.
I have refused to walk on any evil path,
so that I may remain obedient to your word.
I haven’t turned away from your regulations,
for you have taught me well.
How sweet your words taste to me;
they are sweeter than honey.
Your commandments give me understanding;
no wonder I hate every false way of life.
“Bubbles” I yelled, “My Baby”; as I held her limp and lifeless form in my arms. I was shaking her and was hoping for her to be just unconscious, but she wasn’t. The reality of the situation came to my awareness and that was the blue limp tongue was hanging out of her mouth and she let go of everything that was left in her digestive system and she was not moving at all or breathing. She was just alive two minutes ago and now the wonderful dog of 10 years was gone. That vibrant wonderful dog that a week ago was meeting me at the door with her sister and her tail wagging every time I came home would not be there the next time I came home from work. My wife and I sat there stunned holding our lifeless dog for what seemed like an eternity and wept uncontrollably.
Then the enemy started his work in us and whispered the question that came to mind, why did God take her from us, we thought she was going to get better, we thought all this medicine and the tests we put her through for two hours before she died was the answer to helping her to get healthy, we spend all that money and now she is gone. Why God, why? Then the wisdom of the scriptures, that has been stored up in our hearts, took over and I was thinking it’s not God’s fault, He allowed us to enjoy and nurture an awesome dog for 10 years. Her life was not the best; she was found in a parking lot and given back and forth to different people over a 3-year period until we found her at a dog adoption show. She had to go through 2 eye surgeries, the first one was because she had a lump over her eye, that was why she was named bubbles. The picture above is how we found her in a crate, she looked so sweet and docile, a perfect companion to our rambunctious Golden Retriever, Butter, who is no longer with us as well.
As the Psalmist points out that God’s word is wiser than the enemy’s, so we let go of blaming God for this tragedy, and so the enemy went to his next tactic. We started blaming ourselves for the death of our dog, if we only got her to the vet a week before she may still be with us. If only we saw the warning signs and took action. If only, if only. My wife so wisely put it as we allowed that attack for about a two minute period, she said; “It’s not as if we are trained vets and knew she was dying.” She was so right, we had no clue, I think my spirit knew because the last week was spent doing a lot more petting and loving than was normal, but it also was because I thought she was having stomach issues. It was not the stomach, but heart failure that was bringing her to the end of her 14-year life.
God’s word that is in our hearts kept us from blaming Him and blaming ourselves or even the vet for that matter. Job 1:21 says in paraphrase that God gives to us and God takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. How can we give praise to God that takes our loved ones from us? First I would like to point out God creates life, but God allows death and trauma to occur in our lives for us not to be bitter toward Him, but to rely more on Him. Because I have God’s wisdom in my heart, I can be better, not bitter today. God did not take my Bubbles from me nor is he going to take my parents as I gradually watch them get older and slower. God’s word tells me that the sin of the world is what causes death; that the wages of sin is death. Not just my sin, but the sin of everyone. We can’t help it, we are born into sin and imperfection because of the choice Adam made at the beginning of time. God’s word tells me that we have overcome the world because of what Jesus did for us.
This year started off with trauma for my family, I had to deal with my mother in-law having a compound fracture of her ankle. I won’t go into great detail, but if you know what a compound fracture is, you know it’s a bloody mess. Needless to say I kept a strong demeanor and called 911 and was able to put pressure on her would as we waited for the ambulance and EMT’s to arrive. As I carried the lifeless body of my dog into the vet yesterday to be cremated, I kept that same demeanor even though I was crying like a baby through the whole ordeal. I choose to be better not bitter. Life is so short to allow ourselves to sit and blame others, blame God and ourselves for the trauma and the tragedy that will always be part of our lives. There is always life and there is always death, how we see everything in between is up to our attitude. There were more good things that happened to me this year than bad, but when going through the bad we seem to focus on the bad. So, yes life hurts a lot and we are going to hurt, I was hurting just writing this blog, but God wanted me to say something to everyone who reads this. I know over the next week even though I choose to be better, I will still have to deal with grief. I also know things will get better and God’s purpose for my life will be fulfilled because He will never leave me nor forsake me. I have God’s word in my heart, His promises to give me a hope and a future. Because I know that, I can continue to move forward in my life and become better because of trauma and tragedy, not bitter.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.