I write this post with heartfelt thanks and praise to the Lord. Zack has returned to us safe and mostly sound after some agonising days of thinking that we might be losing him to that most dreaded disease – cancer. It all began on Tuesday, just after lunch, when Zack threw up and stopped eating and drinking. We have seen our dogs throw up before so the vomiting did not cause us much concern to begin with. Nonetheless, I phoned the vet to ask her advice and was told to give Zack boiled chicken and rice in order to settle his stomach.
Zack would not touch the chicken and rice. Worse yet, he would not drink. He also threw up again. The next day, we took him to the vet for an examination because our beloved pet would still neither eat nor drink. How could a dog not want chicken? And not to drink anything? That afternoon, we drove the hour and a bit it took to take him to the vet. Normally it would have taken just 45 minutes, but there were road works in place and we had to make detours.
At the surgery, the vet felt Zack’s stomach and immediately set up an appointment for him to have a scan at their main establishment in another town some miles away. The young vet who did the scan felt unsure of the results but she and the vet before her seemed to suspect cancer. They could not understand why Zack had given up food and drink altogether. That evening, we returned home with Zack, having made an appointment with the scan specialist for the following morning.
Hubby and I shed tears. Zack is like a child to us: we adopted him and love him dearly and cannot bear for him to hurt nor be ill. We knew that if he did have that dreaded disease, then it would have been a kindness on our part to say goodbye so that he would no longer suffer. The thing was, none of the vets thought that he was unduly distressed when they felt his abdomen or took his heart rate.
In a frenzy of prayer, I begged God to spare Zack. I thanked him for giving us our lovely dog, and asked Him, the Father of all, to heal Zack. I asked that the Lord would remove those suspicious lesions from Zack’s spleen and liver, and that He would heal him of those. I prayed that when the specialist checked Zack the next morning, that those abrasions would have disappeared.
I have learnt something about prayer through the ups and downs of life. One is that at times, when I pray, the Lord will suddenly assure me of an outcome even before the beginning of the event. For instance, I prayed for both our children to secure good internships. I am quite a hands-on mother in some respects: in the case of their internships, I searched for jobs for them as much or perhaps even more than they did themselves. With respect to our first son, when he first told me about applying to a certain firm, I prayed over it. Then, I told him the I felt he would get it. With our second son, I found a job online and told him to apply for it. Before he got the interview, I said to him that I thought he would get the job. I could do this only because the Lord had impressed upon me that those were the jobs that our kids would get.
As I prayed for Zack through Day 1 after he had been to see the first and second vets, I felt very much at a loss. I could not see whether God would heal him or not. The next day, as we drove the extra distance to the further surgery so that Zack could be examined by the specialist, I prayed again. When something is so important as this, one inevitably maintains an attitude of prayer: ‘The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.’ (Romans 8:26) It was as we were driving through the mountains that I felt that same knowing again: the Lord had healed or would heal Zack.
We reached the surgery a little late, but the vet was very kind to us even though we had kept her waiting. She then readied Zack for the scan, which took an hour. But she could not find any of those lesions that had been there the previous day. Zack’s liver was shaped a little differently commensurate with age, but there were none of the lesions that the previous vet had seen before. A blood test revealed that Zack’s kidneys were not doing too well because he had not been drinking and that there was some inflammation in his blood, possibly because of an infection. We were given some options, one of which was to have Zack stay overnight in the hospital and be put on a drip. We spoke to the lady in Rescue who knows Zack and she recommended the drip. That too was a godsend, as we were in a quandary as to the right decision to make at that moment in time.
We kept in touch with the vets at the hospital last night. Zack had improved so much that he had been taken off the drip. He was getting better and better and had begun to eat and drink again. Of course he had some help with some medication: an inflammatory, antibiotics and an anti-nausea injection. God has given man the ability to develop and work with medicines, and this is part of the healing process that we have.
I wanted to share this story because I am so grateful to the Lord for what He has done. We had shed tears when we were unsure. Then I felt myself tearing up once I knew, at that special moment, that the Lord would heal Zack. My God is wonderful indeed!
It is difficult not to be anxious. We are only human. And despite my faith, I still find myself afraid about many things. However, we are instructed in the Bible not to be anxious. As a Christian, my faith is also my hope. And so this post is not meant as self-edification – never that because I can be weak in spirit like everyone else – but is written as a homily to hope, of faith and hope in a God who cares for us and the creatures of His creation. There is much about the Big Bang Theory of course, but even that requires faith for a person to believe. Why not believe in God instead? This too takes faith, albeit a God-given one.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
P.S. If you would like to find out more about my faith, do feel free to ask.