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Today’s mini-sermon is the second of a three-part series inspired by a recent incident that happened to my Sheltie . . .

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)

Yesterday I told the story of how Elsa, my Sheltie, attacked a dog 3 times her size, got tangled up in the other dog’s chain, and ended up needing surgery, a drain, and 15 stitches to repair the cut. I wish I could say that her trauma ended when I finally carried her back up the steps and into the house, but of course it couldn’t. In order to keep her from tearing out the stitches and drain with her teeth and tongue, it was necessary for her to wear a plastic collar around her neck (We call it the “satellite dish”!) Naturally, she didn’t care for the collar at all. She would spend hours just standing in the middle of the room, head drooped to the floor. A more forlorn picture would be hard to find.

Another problem was that the drain the vet inserted to keep the wound from abscessing dripped blood for the first week or so. As a result, she had to be kept in a part of the house where there wasn’t any carpet. Now Elsa is a very social dog, and being locked up in a little room is not her idea of a good time! Especially if she has to wear the “satellite dish” on her head! And she didn’t like to take her medicine, she couldn’t go for walks until the wound healed, and her list of woes went on and on. She looked so sad and forlorn that my heart hurt just looking at her.

But the worst part was, she saw me as the bad guy! I was the one who locked her up; I was the one who made her take her medicine; and I was the one who put that collar on her head! But I couldn’t do anything about her condition. She had to keep the collar in order for the wound to heal; she had to take her medicine so she wouldn’t get an infection; and she had to stay in the laundry room so that she wouldn’t ruin the carpet!

How often do we look at our own lengthy list of woes and make statements like these: “I am under attack from the devil!” or “God isn’t hearing my prayers!” Just like Elsa, we don’t realize that we are often suffering the consequences of our own poor choices. God would love to take away our suffering, but sometimes He knows that it is for our own best interest to make us “take our medicine”, to make us “wear the ‘satellite dish’ collar”, and to make us “stay locked in the laundry room” of life!  Let us never forget that God knows the end from the beginning, and He has our best good in mind. Our job is to trust that He is in charge, even when the going seems rough. Our task is to live by faith, not by sight. Our hope is the promise of Rom. 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

In His love,

Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets ( ), Answers2Prayer Ministries,

(To access the entire “Lessons From a Wayward Sheltie” mini-series, please click here.)