Monday, December 5, 2011
Going to the Vet
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” -1Pet. 5:6
Yesterday, I took our lab, Maisy, for a drive to the Vet’s office. She’s a loving, hyper, cocky puppy these days, but yesterday, she was scared, quiet and humble as she sat in the floorboard of my SUV with her tail between her legs. Today she is going to be spayed and the vet needed to check her weight in preparation for the surgery. I was reminded of the strength of humility. I don't know about dogs, but I know God uses opportunities of humility to remind us all of our own frailty, our dependence on others and our need for God. We need those reminders!
Life is so much fun on sunny days when our health is excellent, our bank account is overflowing with cash and our car is full of gas. It’s easy to cruise along when our greatest challenges are small, but when we’re sick or an unexpected financial set back hits us, we’re like Maisy sitting in the floorboard: scared, dependent and needy.
I was talking with a teenager last year as we were kicking a soccer ball back and forth. The teen’s main focus in life was soccer with the future goal of playing in college. He was asking me questions about playing college soccer. My answers surprised him, “Yes, I played in college but it was not a big deal at my school and you know what, it was such a small part of my life.” I could tell by the look on his face that he was disappointed. I continued, “Enjoy soccer, but you need to remember that you’re only an injury away from never playing again.” I reminded him that Jesus is the only thing that lasts forever. He was shocked. This was a great kid, but I had taken his secure world of athletics and exposed it as fragile and temporary. I will never forget his response back to me, “Oh Joey, I’ll never get injured.” I saw so much of myself in his answer.
When I’m Maisy, sleeping in the backyard, my stomach full, cats out of the yard, and torn up items everywhere, things are great. I’m in control, I’m the ruler of my ship, “I’ve got the world on a string” and “everything is going my way.” I might even throw out a, “Praise God for He is good” comment because everything in my circumstances is perfect. I’m convinced that I have it all covered and I too will “never get injured.”
Then BOOM. I wake up sick or the doctor office calls with the negative report or I balance the checkbook and I’m out of cash (with a lot of month left to go) or the car breaks down or I leave for work with a strain in a relationship or I’m called into the boss’ office and am told I’ve lost my job. The list goes on and on. One minute I’m basking in the backyard, the “big dog” and under control. The next minute, I’m off to the vet’s office about to be sliced open, with everything out of my control.
And then I have a choice. I can try to regain control by trying to “fix”, get angry over my circumstances or blame someone else for my misfortune. Or, I can accept the circumstances with humility and lean on God. Yes, God engineers circumstances in my life so that I’ll depend on Him. Why? Because He knows I’m at my best when I’m in that position. Just ask Job of the Bible. It’s a long book, but read it sometime. He was basking in the sunlight, then life took a twist and he was broken. But, in the end, He settled with God and he was okay. God provides the opportunity, but we have to humble ourselves.
So relax in the circumstances this week. Be humble in the up and the down times.
Whether you’re headed to the Vet or not.
By Eric Joseph Staples ©