Romans 5:3 AMP
Moreover [let us also be full of joy now!] let us exult and triumph in our troubles and rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that pressure and affliction and hardship produce patient and unswerving endurance.
As I searched through my old devotions for inspiration to write a new one, I came across this one from several years ago. I had completely forgotten this story. It is such a funny example of an animal, my sweet Maggie, trying to rejoice in her trouble. Her pressure and affliction and hardship never produced patience and endurance in her for being what was by all accounts, a teenage pregnancy.
“Daily I lean on the things that happen around me to find examples of God lessons. Today was simple. My dog had puppies three and a half weeks ago and was good with nursing them all along. Then yesterday, two things happened that made her change her mind. Only obedience to my commands gets her near massive little brood of eight. The sweet little dears grew teeth! No longer is motherly instinct driving her to feed her first, and only, litter, but duty to lay there and endure to the end.
The other thing that happened was one escaped from their pen in the kitchen. In a panic she drug it into the bedroom where I was, whimpering all the while. As I took the puppy back to the pen she followed not sure what to do with herself. Then, as the rest of them tried to escape, she desperately tried to push them back with her nose, glancing at me with that help me look in her eyes.
Finally, giving up she ran through the house, found her ball, came back for one last glance and ran to my room to hide still whimpering the entire time. There was no joy for anyone but me at that moment. I thought this was all completely funny until 4:20 this morning when she began to bark to go outside. Once out she was hard pressed to come back in because, you guessed it, it was breakfast time. Thirty minutes later I crawled back in bed wondering who was suffering more, my dog or me!
In the end she and I will both be better for our experience and we will have learned a great lesson. I’ll let you know when I find out what that lesson might be.
Two short years later, my sweet Maggie found, what we believe was a group of rattlesnakes, on our ranch. She died from her bites. My lesson in the end with her was enjoy and love while I had a chance. You never know when it may never be possible again. In my deep grief my husband said, “Go get another dog if it will make you stop crying!” To this day it is hard to even look at Maggie’s pictures but the one who came next demanded my attention. Meet our little trouble maker, Daisy! A 12 pound Yorkiepoo full of attitude and mischievousness.
Honestly, no matter what the circumstances are in life, there is joy to be found. Allowing the hardships in life to push us all forward in our relationship with Christ is the most rewarding lesson of all.