Wednesday, June 1, 2011

on e-collar times

Forbearance, patience, forgiveness, joy, living in the now -- we've lots to learn from
this little moptop!

Kip somehow managed to break her toe and rip out her nail, so she has to go about with the dreaded Elizabethan collar for another week or so (she's already worn it for two). But see what a happy camper she is nonetheless?

She had quite an awful time at the vet, poor thing, but it says a lot about you if you can stop yourself from biting, and still lick and wag your tail at, the chap who just made you scream.

Sometimes we have to go through times with an e-collar on -- times of pain and hurt that weigh on us, affect our everyday lives, upset our equilibrium, and just seem to stretch on and on. Those really are the times we need to cling to God and walk in faith even more, reminding ourselves of His faithfulness, power and goodness.

Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You". "For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you" (Isa 54:10).

"Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" (John 14:27).

"For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor)" (Ps 5:12).

I am also particularly fond of this Scripture: "And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint" (Gal 6:9). Remember that "... amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us" (Rom 8:37).

Meditating on such Scriptures throughout my day are such a wonderful help and reassurance to me, especially if I have to carry an e-collar type burden. But just look at Kip -- we can stay peaceful, we can stay joyful. We can choose to be positive and keep a good, thankful attitude, and not waste the present being negative and depressed. For equally true about e-collar times is that old proverb, "This too shall pass".

The American writer Helen Steiner Rice wrote a lovely poem on this:

If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be

If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me

If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too

Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains

That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.

Being a sympathetic friend is always nice too.

Hang in there, dear reader!

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