“…the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
Soon after Maggie’s fabulous New Year Resolutions (see December 2016: Resolutions? Maggie Knows the Best!) she went to her vet with constipation and another seemingly minor complaint. Surely simple interventions would resolve the problems and we’d be on our way….
“Haven’t you noticed that Maggie’s lost weight over the past few months? She’s lost 2 pounds!” The concern on Dr. Chiverton’s face seemed odd, I thought slimming down was a good thing. However, x-rays, a sonogram and overview of blood work analysis yielded bad news…liver tumor, pancreatitis, and the final stage of chronic constipation – megacolon. I saw the results and know what they mean for a 16 year old cat, “I want to treat her, make her comfortable, but I don’t want to prop up her life artificially to make me happy.” With that I left Maggie in the clinic hospital.
A challenge loomed ahead as a planned trip with my elderly parents was set four days later. Could I leave my loyal and loving companion? Might she pass away while I’m gone? Could I disappoint my elderly parents? I prayed and could not discard the conclusion to go. I hired a vet tech to oversee and administer meds. “She’ll be okay” my husband said but to me I saw her weak and fading away…
I do believe in the sovereignty of God and His desire to reveal Himself to us and that He often does so when we are oppressed and in turmoil. He honors our decision to go forth as He leads even when our feet are iron clad.
I went through the motions at the airport with a heavy heart. As time passed and thoughts swirled, pain gripped my heart. I walked slowly to a vendor for bottled water and suddenly these words rose up clearly and etched into my soul,
“In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10
With a deep exhale, a great weight was lifted from me and the following days passed lightly, even enjoyably.
Maggie did survive but soon returned to the hospital. This time I began perusing ‘final destination’ plans for my furry good friend. “I believe God’s going to heal Maggie”, said husband Bob. I almost chuckled when he added, “she can be with us another 5 years.” I was hoping for another 5 weeks, when the ground wouldn’t be so frozen….
As I sat in the waiting room praying, contemplating and further perusing, another verse pressed upon my heart,
“Every good and perfect gift is from above….” James 1:17
I never doubted that Maggie was a good and perfect gift from my heavenly Father. After finding her and her litter at an abandoned brownstone, she was the friend who sat beside me during times of grief, cuddled alongside when others betrayed,and remained constant when life events brought upheaval and confusion. Maggie is a ‘good and perfect gift’. From that my heart grasped the further truth: when God gives a good and perfect gift, His hand is seen in the beginning and in the end. I sincerely and decidedly handed Maggie back to the Lord,” I give her back to you Lord” and my worries lifted.
And what is Maggie’s status?
Subsequent exams show her colon shrunk. Recent blood screens find liver enzymes normal. Is the tumor gone? I don’t know. Maggie’s eating again, gained 3 ounces in two weeks and, pardon me but she’s even pooping! It hardly gets better.
Animals may be nicer but are not more important than people however, spiritual lessons and intimate fellowship with the Lord has immeasurable value. When scripture transforms from written word to living word, we hear from heaven. We will not ‘throw away’ the burial pod but will trust the Lord to keep that which we committed to Him. We trust Him to prepare us for every life event – the giving and the taking away – and anticipate His lovingkindness even or especially when brokenhearted.
“A righteous man cares for the needs of his animal” (Proverbs 12:10) Maggie agrees….