Last week I had a big scare with our dog, Ruger. Ruger is a sweet 8 year old lab who Chris has had since he was a pup. I was home alone with him when he started acting funny. He was opening up his mouth and leaning toward the sky like he was trying to grab something. When he would look down, his jaw was tremoring, and then he would dig his nose into the floor for 15-20 seconds at a time. I truly thought this loveable lug was having a stroke. I shot off a couple of quick videos to Chris at work and then called him, begging him to watch them right away and tell me if I needed to get him to the vet ASAP.
After 2 minutes or so, Chris called back. “He’s acting like he’s get something stuck in his nose? Does he have something in there?” To which I dutifully picked this dog’s nose like a newborn with a raisin up his nostril (THAT happened the week before). Nothing. Chris said, “Then check his throat. I think he’s got something stuck somewhere!” Ruger let me gently open his mouth. In the very back, stuck between his farthest molars was the cap of a marker that he had chewed and managed to wedge in there!
That dumb dog, despite the fact he’s been trained as a duck dog and knows not to chew things, decided to enjoy an awesome plastic snack that ended up causing him pain and discomfort. I was so grateful I called Chris and asked what he thought. After I pulled it out, I started crying because I had truly thought that the dog was going to die on my watch! I was glad he was ok.
As I sit and write this blog and share the story, I can think of so many biblical applications oddly enough that resonate with me and hit me in the eyes.
How about the fact that my husband knew what to look for? He has taken the time to get to know his dog and how he acts. He knows what a dog looks like stressed. He took years of experience with dogs and was prepared for odd circumstances like this one. Am I that prepared for the sneak attacks of Satan?
We should be vigilant because the Bible tells us to be! It clearly tells us that satan isn’t just letting us be. He roams around seeking those to devour (I Peter 5:8). Have we trained ourselves to be ready for whatever affliction comes our way? And the best way for us to be prepared is to fully surrender to God, be in constant prayer with Him and use our Sword–the Bible–daily! When we have trained ourselves well, when things come up unexpectedly, we will be equipped with the proper outlook to help us.
How about that silly dog knowing he’s not supposed to be chewing things like that and yet he did it anyway? Do I hide from sin that stupidly?! Do I know what I am commanded to do biblically and still slink away trying to hide what I’m about to do as if God doesn’t see it or doesn’t know about it?!
I’m guilty of this more times than I can count! I wish that I was constantly in God’s Word as much as I should be. I wish I didn’t lose my temper and say mean or hurtful things. I wish that my past didn’t include drunken nights and sexual immorality. But I’ve done exactly as Ruger has done. It looked fun. It looked inviting. So I took part. Then shame takes over as I hide my behavior, knowing that what I’ve done is pure and simply sin. The reminder of the disobedience, however, is never far away and then like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar, or a dog caught with a marker top stuck between his teeth, our sin has found us out and God is waiting for repentance!
My prayer, Iron Porch, is twofold. First, I pray that we are vigilant and aware of our surroundings, building up our faith with active prayer, Bible reading and worship so that we may know when we have a problem. Second, I pray that we don’t hide in our sin. I pray that we are so steadfast in our relationship with God that we actively pursue a sinless nature. And when we DO sin, I pray that we are immediate in our repentance and turning away from the sin. God is quick to forgive when we come to Him with a broken and repentant heart.