The day started like any other. An early morning walk followed by breakfast, a mid-morning nap, and then things swerved off course.
Titus became anxious, slower than normal, and by the evening, he refused to eat. The following morning, he could barely walk.
We knew something was terribly wrong.
A trip to the veterinary revealed a liver abscess, a small mass in his abdomen, and a gallbladder filled with fluid. He needed emergency surgery.
We transferred him to a specialty clinic. My husband and I hugged him, hesitantly handed his leash to the technician, and watched him walk through the kennel door. His big brown eyes caught mine. I tried to reassure him, I think he was trying to do the same. A few hours later, the surgical team surrounded him.
To say we were concerned would be an understatement.
Titus is our fur-baby, an important member of our family. As a puppy, he wiggled his way into our hearts and before we knew it, we were hostage to his mischievous spirit.
For several days our house was quiet. The click of Titus’ nails on the hardwood floors was temporarily silent. There was no barking at the television. No begging for cookie crumbs at the end of the day. No cute doggy greeting when we entered the door.
But now he’s home, curled up at my feet, resting peacefully in a drug-aided sleep. It will take several weeks for him to regain his strength and return to the dog that controls our lives. Yet, we know we are blessed.
He is home.
During the many hours we sat in the veterinary office, we met a man whose best friend had been run over by a road grader. She was a small dog that couldn’t put up much of a defense against heavy equipment. He sat frozen as tears ran down his cheeks. He was losing his companion.
She had helped him through a heart attack and warned him of a pending seizure but today she was fighting her own battle.
Their day started normally until it wasn’t. And then, this man’s world crashed. His best friend was gone.
Life has a way of knocking us off our feet. Our days start ordinary only to have them disrupted by the phone call you never want to receive, the knock on the door you didn’t anticipate, or the encounter that changes the trajectory of your life. A faithful companion, lifelong friend, spouse, or child, gone…
What do you do when life gets hard? How do you survive when the unthinkable occurs? When the ordinary every day turns into the nightmare you repeatedly battle, how do you recover?
There is a story in the Old Testament that might help us answer these questions. It can be found in the book of Job.
The account tells us about a man named Job. He was the richest man in the region. He had seven sons and three daughters and within the span of a day, he lost everything – riches, livestock, sons, daughters, all was gone.
I’m certain when Job woke that morning, he didn’t expect his world to come to a sudden halt. So, what was Job’s response to the devastation that engulfed his life?
Job 7:6-21 gives us a glimpse into his reaction.
Job cried out to God. He voiced his frustrations and pain. He verbalized the anguish of losing all he had acquired, his family, and his dreams for the future. He wrestled with the “whys.” Why is the unimaginable happening? Why am I being tormented, punished, unfairly targeted? Why? In the midst of the searching, he also examined his life, looking for any unconfessed sin. His searching came up empty and he concluded by asking God “why won’t you leave me alone?”
In God’s great love and mercy, He responded to Job’s questioning. He put the devastation into perspective and as the conversation ended, Job’s attitude took a subtle shift.
Job 42:5 – 6, reveals Job’s changed perspective,
5I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. 6 I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
Through Job’s trials, he realized that God had a bigger plan for his circumstances, a plan beyond Job’s comprehension. He learned that with the suffering came a greater need to lean into God and his eyes were slowly opened. Opened to the truth of who God was and he chose to trust and believe.
Perhaps this can be true in our lives. When the phone rings, or that knock wakes us in the early morning, or our dreams are radically shifted maybe we can acknowledge that God is working. He is working in ways that today we can’t understand and even with incomplete understanding, we decide to trust Him.
I encourage you if you are facing the unexpected and your world feels like it is coming undone, remember Job and cry out to God. Tell Him about the pain and fears you are facing, and then trust Him to take care of you as you navigate the difficulties. It’s not easy, in fact, God never promised easy. But He did promise to be with you and to never forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Be Blessed His BeLOVED,
27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27
Please take a few minutes to read these passages from Romans 8 and reflect on the questions that follow.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Take a few minutes to consider the following.
- What does it mean to you that God is for you and that no one can condemn you?
- In verses 35 through 39 we are assured that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Not our circumstances, our fears, the current culture, or political climate – nothing separates us from our Father. How does this knowledge help you navigate life?
For more information on how Job navigated his suffering, access the link below.