‘Clunk! Thunk. . . thunk, thunk thunk. Thud . . . thud, thud, thud, thud. Bang! BANG! CRASH!‘ Then silence for a nano second. I sat at my desk with my heart thumping as the noise grew steadily louder. What could the racket be?
A minute ago, Hubby had gone upstairs with Zack, our giant Pyrenean Mountain Dog, rushing up close by his heels. Sensing a potential treat, Zack was all va va voom and thought he might reach the door and go through it with Hubby. Unfortunately, Hubby had had a head start, and by the time Zack had hurried up the stairs, Hubby was literally closing the door in his face. Poor Zack.
Now, usually at this point in the normal run of affairs, Zack would have simply turned around, sat on the top step, and waited patiently for the door to magically re-open for him. Except that this time our clumsy boy must have lost his footing, and came tumbling down the stairs. With trepidation in my heart, I rushed toward the ever increasing din, praying that Zack would not be lying injured at the foot of the steps. What if he had killed himself?
Praise God! Zack righted himself, stood up as if to say, ‘Why am I on the floor?’ and walked towards me. I petted and fussed over him, praying that there would be no broken bones, torn ligaments or injured muscles. As far as I could see, he was no more than a little bemused by his prone position, and was not even dazed.
However, later that night, Hubby mentioned that Zack was having difficulty passing water. Now, our loveable dodo has had previous trouble in that region twice before. An infection had ensured that he could not pass water when standing up. Instead, he could only go when lying down and his body was nice and relaxed. As a result, I have seen a much flummoxed Zack looking quizzically at the large smelly puddle that surrounded him, as if wondering where it had come from. Now I prayed that the Lord would heal Zack of any urinary tract infection.
That night, Zack was restless. He wanted to pee but could not do so when Hubby took him out to do the deed. Within one hour, he had already been taken out three times. Eventually, Hubby decided that an outing at 1:30 am was just another walk too much. He was resigned to cleaning up after Zack in the morning. Meanwhile, I was kept awake by the dog pacing up and down, trying to attract his owners’ attention so that he might be taken out again only minutes after he had returned from his last walk. Eventually, about 15 minutes later, I heard a ‘tap’ open. After that, all was silent.
Within myself, I knew that that would be the end of Zack’s infection. I had prayed, and God had answered my prayer. We had Sunday to get through before taking Zack to the vet for a check up. Hubby had collected a sample of our dog’s latest offering so that the vet could test it for any infection.
On Monday, we drove up to Keswick to visit the vet. We wanted him to check over our big boy to make sure that he was physically sound, particularly since he is so hairy and neither of us knows enough about a dog’s physique in order to feel for any untoward sprains or breakage. Zack was good as gold as our vet felt him over. Then the vet tested the urine for infection. The verdict? All was well.
The night before, I had said to Hubby that I had prayed for Zack’s healing and that I was sure he was now clear of any urinary infection. Hubby, in turn, mentioned how fortunate we were that Zack had not killed himself falling down the stairs. With a huge body like his hurling at great velocity down a steep flight of steps, it was a wonder indeed. There were no fractures, no cuts, no strains, no head or facial injuries – NOTHING. It is at times like this that I see how much God cares for all His creation, both human and animal alike.
I know, of course, that life is no bed of roses. We all get ill, hurt, or maimed in some way or other, whether physically, mentally, or spiritually. Or we may suffer from a combination of some or all of these aspects. This world is full of the good, bad and ugly, and the lives of its inhabitants get caught up within its beauty as well as its turmoils. Much of what mankind suffer come from our own hands, often because someone’s desire for power and wealth causes him or her to trample upon anyone, any creature or anything that hinders his or her path. The world is a funny old place: there is much compassion, but there is also greed and self-aggrandisement. Many of the good get trodden on, whilst the unscrupulous thrive. It is a principle that is reflected in the world at large and its effects are far-reaching, encompassing the lives of plants, animals, humankind, and the environment at large.
Such is life. I mention all the above because I had said that God does care for us. That is my personal belief and I have experienced it in my life. However, I know that many who continue to suffer or who have had terrible experiences might well take a dim view of what I have just said. So, what can I leave the reader with? I can say that I too have experienced past heaviness of the soul, and continue, like many others, to experience trying times. I can say that many have endured cruelty in the world and yet have praised God when He lifted them out of their troubles. I can say that God is ever near if we would only call on Him for salvation and succour. Even if we do not acknowledge or feel Him, He is there! Finally, I can write with confidence, quoting just three of the many biblical promises of God to care for us:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-8)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)