Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Pain of Cutting out the Cancers

Years ago, I wrote a story about a chicken that was damaged as a chick and for a while I have failed to pick up the pen when life has shown me such an illustration. I have come to a quiet spot in life and the Lord has allowed me a moment to see His work in this broken world.

I know this is why God allows me to walk wounded, but always observing the broken and redeemed. You see, I have adopted this dog. No one would have wanted this dog if they had known her true condition. But I heard of her abandoned state and I wanted more than anything to have her. Even though I knew it would mean, more vet visits, flea pills, and heart worm medication, I wanted her.

Her owner had planned to leave her tied up outside, unsheltered, in the Georgia summer heat while he vacationed for six days. He thought a friend checking on her once a day was sufficient to care for her. I did not think so. I drove over there and brought the dog home. When he returned, I requested that he give her to me. A visit to the vet revealed the not-spayed dog has breast cancer and has significant hearing loss. The vet speculated that the dog (who my friend had only owned for a month) had been used to birth puppies and once they discovered the cancer, discarded. I quickly made an appointment for spay and lump removal.

In her recovery, I can’t help, but see how hard this whole process has been on my new sweet dog. I also can’t help but see how we as human beings can’t understand the things we endure on earth and the ways in which God is good to us.

We all have cancers growing silently while we eat breakfast, drop the kids off at school, as we go to church…

Some of us have come to know the good master and enjoy sleeping at the foot of his bed. We are well fed and parasites don’t pursue us because of his constant care.

Some of us don’t have that. Some of us have been used and abused. We’ve been left unsheltered and never even had a moment to relax in a hot bath. We’ve eaten food but it has never really satisfied.
But one day God heard about my neglected state and he chose to go the distance to find me… He brought me home and cleaned me up and I could hardly believe I was sleeping in a cool, soft spot.  I thought, now I can repair and rest. I have been claimed. I’ve been redeemed.

Then this kindness seemed short lived… For all the pain I’ve endured, I don’t need any more hurt… Can’t the aching raw just stop? God knows there are things in me. Some of these things, I’ve done to myself. Some of these things are just wounds I didn’t deserve, but the self-inflicted ones… They are the worst.

God knows the right time to cut the cancers from me.

I go home with the new master and the recovery is harder than the surgery. I keep trusting God’s goodness but I am bleeding… bleeding right out on the floor. He tries to bandage me tightly but I keep picking at my wounds. He walls me in. Pads me from digging at the sores… I keep wondering why I won’t heal and why God won’t let me do it my way. I have always licked my wounds as long as I like. Everyone else lets me find a corner to pick the crust off my deepest sores… why won’t God?

Gently, tenderly he nurses me to health. I wish I could say: I am healed… that the cancer is gone. Maybe one cancer is gone, but I’ve stopped worrying about the “completely healed” prognosis… Rather than looking for proof of my healing, I am resting in the knowledge that the master is good. I have walked wounded long enough and found strength and rest in God enough to know that sometimes we keep asking the wrong question.

Sometimes we have to accept that the wounded path may be the straight path and as we walk on we find we are not so wounded. The stitches come out and we find we no longer walk… We run….

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