The Cure

June 15, 2011 
My well loved canine friend has been diagnosed with a life treating illness. Jackson who six weeks ago was a 10 year old beautiful, happy, muscular, energetic, strong and healthy Labrador retriever now has an auto-immune disease. He has morphed into a weak, slow, bloated, wobbly and tired dog. He is anemic, has low thyroid and his red blood cell count has dipped to dangerous levels.  A large amount of steroids has slowly brought his red blood cell count up but the reason remains a mystery. His life may never be the same. As the vet said, “he has a long road ahead of him.”
In the last few weeks, I have slept on the floor with him, slept in the living room, and even slept outside, in fear that he would die alone. One night I thought he had died. It was too windy to sleep outside, so I lay on the floor at the back door. I opened my eyes and saw Jackson lying out on the grass, and for the first time in weeks, sprawled out on his side. As I approached him, his tail didn’t wag nor did I see him breathing. When I bent down to pet him there still was no movement and he felt boney and rigid. While I started to sob, I put my head on his side to hug him before I went to get Don, but felt him breathing. Thank God.
He holds such a special place in my heart because he is the first dog that I personally had as a puppy. After he was born I visited the litter every weekend to choose just the right one. When I brought him home, I snuggled with him; let him lay across my lap while driving, and just spoiled him rotten. The dividends paid off favorably because he worships the ground I walk on. The only problem is that he is very large, yet still thinks like that puppy. He wants to be where I am. He sleeps beside me, lies in front of the door while I shower in the morning, as well as sits in a recliner next to me when I have my quiet time every day. He is always thrilled to see me when I walk in the door. His tail wags so fast and hard that it will break anything in its path. I continue to tell Don that if he treated me just half as good as Jackson does, he would be a happy man!
Yet now it has all changed. Jackson just isn’t the same and sadly he may never be again. He has moments of tail wagging, but his energy level has bottomed out. It has been so sad to watch this development unfold in front of my very eyes. He no longer lies at the shower door, he can’t get in the recliner with me, and he often wants to lay off by himself. In our trips to the vet office, he has to be picked up and put in the car and helped out, otherwise he just falls out. It is gut wrenching and so painful to watch this happening. Just when I think I have no more tears to cry, they begin falling all over again. I deeply love him, therefore I hurt deeply.  
Contemplating that anguish, I simply bared my soul and asked the Lord, “Do you know how I feel?” Humbly, I apologized. “Yes, you do know how I feel.” Although I am sharing this story about my dog, most people have experienced this with their parents, relatives or friends. Forgive me, if I seem to compare your loved ones with my dog. It is just that when love runs deep (whether human or animal), we deeply grieve. In my quiet solitude, I felt the Lord impress on my heart that He experiences this situation every day. He also is grieved to see people He loves, dying of their disease called sin. He watches those he loves, and died for, refuse the help only He can give. Because of their pride, unwillingness, ignorance, rebellion or even hatred; He has to watch them die. Even though he has the cure and has made a way to spend eternity with them, he sadly watches them refuse.
Recently someone said to me, “God works for some people, but not everyone.” Inwardly I cringed. What a lie. God works for everyone. We just don’t get that he has given each of us a free will. He could have made us all puppets that went around and exclaimed, “Praise God, Praise God, Praise God.” But it would have been for naught. How would you like a puppet mumbling words, which had no meaning? When God heard those words he wanted them to come from our hearts. Because of God’s great love for you and me, He gave us the capability of choosing. It truly is our choice. He has done all the work, paved the way, paid the price, but ultimately the decision is ours to choose Him.
In closing, knowing that I would do just about anything to have Jackson back to normal, I can only imagine how the Lord feels toward us. If there was a medication, an exercise, a place to go to, the right words to utter, I would be all over it, to heal Jackson. Although I have limited resources, God does not. He has all the means in the world at your disposal, just for the asking. I know it is inevitable that I will lose Jackson someday, but I can’t fathom knowing that I had the cure in my hands but never utilized it.  Therefore the hurt I am suffering today cannot compare to what God experiences toward those He loves. He has a cure……..His name is Jesus.