A Dog’s Worst Day
Today might possibly be the worst day of my dog’s life. He’s endured surgery, stitches, pain on top of irritation, and now the cone of shame. It breaks my heart to see his pitiful face. I look at him and wish he could know that all this is because he is loved. It’s for his protection. I imagine he can’t possibly see how that is true. From his perspective, I’ve inflicted several forms of torture on him. But because he keeps attempting to escape the yard, he caused the misfortune resulting in this unfortunate visit to the vet.
A Cone of Shame from God?
As I sat on the floor with Max cradled in my lap, trying to soothe him, God began to show me how He has done this countless times in my own life. And he will continue to do this with me however long it takes to course-correct my escape attempts. I may not have had to endure bodily injury like Max, but God undoubtedly has performed surgery on my heart many times. Recovery for me looked more like forced humility, which I guess you could say was my very own cone of shame.
Loving Protection from Ourselves
I don’t wish to go through any of those surgeries again, but looking back I am certain that they really were because I am loved. The cone of shame is meant to protect. However, it is so blatantly indicative of a pet’s inability to keep from hurting themselves even more. In the same way, God’s methods of protecting us from ourselves can also be hard to hide. Sometimes the unfortunate downside to that is that people will see it as weakness, or worse we become subject to judgment. It can be easy to ask God why, and feel vulnerable, ashamed, and even feel alone. But nothing could be further from the truth! So often what we see as hardship is actually protection. It is because God really loves us!
If there is a circumstance in your life that feels too painful to see how it could possibly be good, ask God to show you how he is using it for protection. It may not seem to make any sense at the time. But how often have you been able to see what God was doing before he did it anyway? If he does not reveal the purpose of the pain to you, are you willing to trust him anyway?
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Trusting the Master
My sweet Max has managed to trust me anyway. He is sitting as close to me as he can while I type this. I’m praying for you to trust God just as obviously as a sweet pup depends on his master. Talk about true submission. Sometimes love hurts. It might do some good to remember that Jesus knows that better than any of us…
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.