What makes life so valuable?
I believe life is a gift from our Creator and it can be taken away in a flash, in a second, in a moment.
I witnessed that this week with our little Maximus.
He was having trouble passing a stone, which he had been passing them for a while, apparently. The poor buddy was in pain and crying out in agony. I felt horrible and was praying so hard for him. We called an emergency vet, who was kind enough to come out at 12 a.m. We did everything we could do, gave him pain killers, catheters, and tried to flush his bladder, but we just didn't get the results we were looking for. Our last resort was surgery. As the vet was prepping for the surgery and Mom and Dad were setting up a clean area, I was sitting with Max and asking God "Why?". My heart felt so heavy and I could hear the enemy saying,"It's all your fault, you could have prevented this. You deserve this." But as I was silently crying out to God, I felt a sense of peace come over me. As I was looking up at the stars, In Christ Alone popped in my head. Through deep sobs and hot tears I whispered these words:
In Christ alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled and striving ceased.
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
As I wiped my tears, I looked over at Max. He stared right in my eyes and I could see no fear. We just sat there, looking at each other, as I stroked his neck. I couldn't help but think he was telling me good-bye. He knew his time was near and he was okay with that... but I wasn't. In my heart I was fighting with God. I pleaded with God, " Lord, please heal Max, PLEASE!! You can't let him die. Why is this happening? I love him so much!" I looked at him again, and his eyes were closed, totally at peace.
Then I was broken, I truly surrendered the power over to God. And at that very moment I let go, I heard a Voice whisper Nahum 1:7- The Lord is GOOD, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. Then I prayed," Lord, please let Your Will be done, not mine. Please strengthen my faith in You. I know you use all things for good and to bring Glory to You." Then it was time.
We moved him into the garage and gave him some sedatives. I watched as his body went limp and his breathing slowed. I just kept hoping that God wanted to heal Maximus and that He would. The vet went over a few things with us and began. It was hard for me to watch them cut open our little buddy. The vet worked on him for a long time, but we still could not clear his urethra. At that moment it hit me... We would have to put him down. All of a sudden I felt lite headed and ran outside for some fresh air. I took a deep breath and said," Lord... if this is Your will, let it be done." As I was shaking and crying, I heard John 14:27- "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." I walked back in and sat down and the vet told me there was nothing else he could do. I knew it in my head, but hearing it come from his mouth was ten times worst. I broke down, crying, sobbing, gasping for breath. Dad gathered us together and prayed for over us. Then the vet walked out and gave us some time to say good-bye. As I stroked his little face and Mom and Dad embraced me, I said in a choking voice," I don't understand, I have been praying over him all night, asking for God to heal him." I turned to Mom and she answered me with words of wisdom," Layla, sometimes the Lord doesn't always answer us with Yes, sometimes the answer is No. But that doesn't mean that He doesn't love us." These words really sank in and they are true.
Dad brought Hagen in so she could say good-bye. We stood there crying and hugging each other, remembering how sweet he was. The vet came in and asked if we were ready. He gave him the shot and got out his stethoscope. A few minutes later he said, "No more heartbeat." That was it, he was gone. It didn't seem real, almost like a dream. I looked at his face, still covered in peace. We wrapped him up and I went to bed, I was emotionally exhausted.
As I laid in bed replaying all that had happened, I could hear the enemy saying," God doesn't love you, he wouldn't heal Max. God has no power, he couldn't fix him. Turn your back on him now, before he hurts you more!" I sat up and yelled in my head," NO! I refuse to curse God, go away satan! Lord, I refuse to have resentment towards You, I refuse to turn my back on You. I don't fully understand, but I know You will use this situation to bring Glory to You. I thank you for the time you blessed us with Maximus, and for what his life means. I love you Lord." I was not tormented anymore that night.
The next morning we buried him under the walnut tree in the garden. It was hard on us, but we didn't cry much. I realized it was really real when we were covering his body in dirt. It was weird to think he was gone. I wouldn't hear his little bleats, see him jump off the slide or watch him frolic with the children anymore. Looking back, I realize the Lord had been preparing me for this. I had been reading the book of Job in the mornings for my personal bible study. I had read about how Job refused to curse God, even when his wife and friends urged him to. Job stood strong in his faith and was rewarded.
We do not know the ways of the Lord. Sometimes His ways are... Flabbergasting! That evening, a friend called and told Mom she wanted to bless me with another buck whenever we were ready. When I heard this I was shocked and started crying again! But it gets even better. The next morning, another friend had e-mailed Mom and told her that they wanted to bless us with a buck! I was speechless and still am.
This whole trial has brought me closer to God, our relationship is stronger than ever. I learned that Life is a gift from God, we should never take it for granted. We should be thankful for every moment we have with someone because we do not know when that moment will end.When I think of Maximus, it reminds me of the Power and Love God has for us.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever:
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
God IS Good! -Layla