This was an old posted note on my Facebook page that I had completely forgotten about. Not a coincidence that I stumbled across it. I needed a fresh reminder today:
Okay, so today was a really tough day. Losing a pet is never easy and we’ve had our share. The price of owning a pet is far greater than the money you spend–you invest part of yourself when you invite an animal to be a part of your family. So here we are, grieving the loss of our sweet dog, Nacho. He was only 3 1/2 years old, but was born with a birth defect called a liver shunt…which in human terms means his liver never functioned normally. He seemed fine last week, but then got sick over the weekend (I’ll leave out those details!), and on Monday was really lethargic. I called the vet — couldn’t get him in until Wednesday morning, so we waited. He was a quiet dog, and never whined or acted like he was in pain, but you could tell he really didn’t feel well.
Wednesday morning when we got to the vet he only weighed 11 lbs…they started him on an IV with antibiotics and various other meds, took blood and ran tests. When I went back to get him at 5:30 Wed. night he had not improved at all, so they wanted to keep him overnight to keep him on the IV. The blood work was back by that point and it wasn’t looking good. Still we were hoping it was just a parasite or something and thought he might bounce back. Turns out his liver and kidneys were failing due to this shunt and there was nothing else to we could do…
Moments of decision can be very troubling when the outcome is so dire. I am thankful for an honest vet that was willing to say that if it was his dog, he wouldn’t bring him home to die…putting him to sleep was the most humane thing we could do–as hard as it was. If you’ve ever been through this, you understand how difficult my drive home was. I was all alone–or so I thought.
Driving home I happened to notice something quite unusual– a spider was clinging to the rearview mirror of the truck and the image left quite an impression on me. I’m not usually so drawn toward a spider, but this one was different. It was a female spider that was carrying her eggs on her back. I had never seen anything like it, and the amazing part was that the white eggs had an impression on them that looked just like a cross!!
In my heart I know that God cares about us and is near to the broken-hearted, so when I saw that spider I was clearly reminded of the message of the cross: Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection I can have a relationship with the one true God. Because of the relationship I have with Him, I KNOW that He cares about me and when I hurt, He sees my need and heals those holes in my heart–even the ones that are left there because of a lost pet.
I immediately thought of the verse, “If anyone wants to follow Me, he must deny himself daily, take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
Most of the time when I hear this verse, I think of the burden of carrying a cross, but the truth is–JESUS carried the cross so I don’t have to! I lay my burdens at His feet and continue to trust Him, even when life is hard. By taking up the cross, I wonder if it’s saying that we “take up the cross” by keeping it in front of us always as a constant reminder of what Christ did and of how we can live victoriously because he paid the penalty for our sin. Sure, every one of us will have difficulties and hardship and grief, but I can testify that even in the midst of those burdens, Jesus is there. He wants to be our source of strength.
II Cor. 12:9 says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
When we are weak, He proves strong. Thank you, Jesus, for continuing to reveal yourself to me–this time with one of your tiny creations–a spider.