Patient Trust Will Reap Reward

December 21, 2012

I’ve never liked taking our pets to the vet.  I dislike it because it usually seems confusing and frightening for the animal, and so, of course, that’s upsetting for me.  Today I had to take Tiger (our sweet, sweet kitty we’ve had for ten years) to the local vet because yesterday I’d noticed he had a tiny puncture wound between his ear and jaw that was draining some not-so-lovely yuk.

Tiger is such a good and very, very loving cat.  But today he couldn’t understand why I called him in from his peaceful, warm nap beneath the shrubs.  I wanted to check his wound and wash it again with warm salt water, but being I was afraid he might wander off to a spot where I’d not find him in time for the appointment, I didn’t let him go back out.  That’s when his confusion began, as being he’s a cat, he didn’t understand my explanation.

Well, his confusion worsened when I put him in the cat carrier (which he’d not been in for many years) and I closed the lid.  After putting the carrier in the car and starting down the long gravel driveway, I could hear him pushing hard against the top, trying to get out.  I talked to him and prayed aloud for him.  I repeatedly said phrases that he was familiar with, like, “I love this boy.”  But, before we’d gone just a couple of miles, he’d already started crying.

He wasn’t crying frantically, but he was still crying.  I kept saying, “Tiger-honey, I’m right here.”  I knew he was glad for my voice, and of course he knew I was right there, but it seemed that this didn’t help too much with his confusion and distress.  I mean, if I was right there, why was I not delivering him from the small prison he was having to endure, a dark scary confining place, with only little round holes to peek out of?  And furthermore, why had his best friend put him in there herself?!  It made me so sad to think of his probable feelings of having been betrayed by the one he trusted most.  If only he would have rested patiently, and without all the fretting!

Everything went well at the vet –Tiger received a wound-washing and an antibiotic shot, and then back in the dreaded carrier he went.  On the way home, he cried some more, but how could I explain to him that the ordeal was almost over and he would be much better off for having gone through it?

So, does this episode remind us of anything?  It did me, and I thought of it the whole time.  “Honey, I’m right here.”  Who often says that when we’re afraid or confused? God, our Shepherd says it.  And when we hear His voice, we might stop crying for a minute, but then, when He doesn’t give an explanation for the predicament we find ourselves in, we just start crying again.  How it must pain God’s heart!  For He knows what He’s doing, why He’s allowing us to go through a painful or perplexing trial, and He knows good and reward will come of it –for us and for others– and that His purposes and Kingdom are being furthered.  But how strange the sequence of events seems to us, doesn’t it?

Sometimes, if we fervently seek God’s voice and pray and petition to better understand what’s going on, God may reveal to us some of what He’s doing.  But just as a cat would find our explanations hard to comprehend, we are no more capable of understanding all God’s reasons and ways.  Nor is it our business to understand all that He is doing, especially in the lives of others, even though He may be using us.  We are God’s tools, to be used at His will, and we don’t need to understand, but only trust His judgement and goodness.  Isn’t this what we want from our young children and our pets?  Would a rebellious servant, a servant who demands answers and full knowledge, be a delight to his King?  Would he really even be of any use?  Yet how sad that many of God’s servants cannot obey Him immediately, eagerly, and in full and compliant trust.

Certainly some servants have learned to trust God fully, patiently, and continually, no matter what He brings or allows them to go through.  May we be of this group, and thereby bring delight, not grief, to our Care-taker, He who is all-kind, and who knows all things.

Tonight, even though there’s a warm fire glowing in the fireplace by which he usually likes to lay as I type nearby, Tiger is choosing to remain outside.  Thoughts of confinement are still fresh in his mind, I’m sure, so I’ll give him time to get over it.  But, how like humans this is as well.  For often, when God puts someone through a trial or test, so as to bring about ultimate good, the person, in anger and fear and distrust, turns his back on God, and refuses to come near to Him again.  If only such people could understand how unwise and ignorant such attitudes and actions are.  And that their lack of trust and patience is forfeiting for them the huge blessing and glorious inheritance which God has been trying to prepare them for.

How sad such things must be to God –He who died to save us, He who moves mountains on our behalf, and He whose heart is compassionate toward all He has made.

with love,

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