On Thursday a week ago, my dog Dave had this huge lump about the size of an egg suddenly appear on his side, by his ribs. Believing he may have simply had an infection, we ruled out an abscess the next day after lancing it. After research and cost projections for simply finding out what type of lump it is, let alone treating it, it became obvious there was no way I could afford to take him to the vet. The minimum exploratory bill was projected at $700-$1,200.
I can't tell you how angry I was to be poor, knowing this potential minimum cost. The cost ranges almost 3/4 of what we live on in a month. I also can't express the sorrow I felt about the prospect of losing Dave so young (he's my favorite dog). Upon researching the veterinarian sites, one of the major symptoms of cancer in a young dog is a fast growing tumor on the side by the rib. A friend asked me, if I could rob Peter to pay Paul to get Dave to the vet. I think at this point, I've gone through all 12 apostles. Unfortunately none of her suggestions were realistic options for me, and I said with a very heavy heart, "No, I only have Jesus to help me with Dave."
I'd been reflecting on my earlier comment the entire day, with a lot of guilt I might add.
"I only have Jesus..."
So forlorn did I say it. It was as if Jesus was my last choice for healing help, and money for veterinary care was my first. All day I've been pondering my statement wondering, "why on earth I could think, Jesus isn't enough?" The God of the Universe, awesome in power, creator of dogs everywhere... and I dare to think for a moment that somehow He couldn't be enough to heal Dave just because I don't have money to take him to the vet. Or that somehow God couldn't provide the money for me to take Dave to the vet miraculously even.
The truth is, I have no idea what Dave's lump is, or if it could be treated medically even if I had all the money in the world. Part of me, like many of you, doesn't like to admit moments like this in my walk of faith. Thankfully, I've grown bigger than that prideful part of me. I'm able to examine my faults honestly to find the strength Jesus wants me to have instead of those weaknesses. It doesn't matter if others judge me as less for confessing a weakness, because Jesus said "to His own master a servant stands or falls" (Romans 14:4). Jesus is able to fix any issues I have with faith.
The truth is I have great faith in many areas of my life, but after losing Renvek, such a precious little boy, to a disease I couldn't comprehend could be stronger than Jesus, my reservations aren't in my faith in God's ability to heal that are weak. My hesitation is in my lack of knowledge in what's God's plan is versus my own desires for healing. If Christians were brutally honest (as I usually am), we should be able to admit statements of feeling like praying to Jesus is our last option. Then at least we can face that sad reality and hopefully grow out of it.
Unfortunately, I've had many of those experiences over the years, including just this past February when Gracie was diagnosed with that brain tumor. It's okay to admit when we're weak, that our hearts wish for an earthly, immediate help we can see, touch, and comprehend. It's okay to acknowledge that often our bets are on the doctors, the hospitals with great reputations, EMTs, police, firefighters, or other professionals to help alleviate our problems and needs. Sure we also include God in that mix, but rarely is ALL our hope ONLY in Him. We pray, but if we're honest it's not always our first go-to option, and many times it's the last resort.
Oh, for the faith to go to God first, every time, with absolute assurance!
I don't know what will happen with Dave, but I do know I will be seeking the Lord not only for his healing but for mine as well. I just wanted to share my experience with you in case you are in the middle of a difficult trial and feeling overwhelmed or hopeless because you're poor or unable to help yourself or someone you love have what they need. Thankfully, the strength we need lies not in our hands, but in His.
Remember, you're never alone.
It's going to be okay... and whatever happens, God has it, just trust Him!
An Alaskan Author, Prospector, Homeschool Teacher, Ordained Minister,
I welcome your comments! Before you post, please see my
Some of the links on this blog are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Also, some of the books and products featured on the blog I received free or heavily discounted for the purpose of review. All the opinions are my unbiased thoughts. I only recommend products or services I use and believe will add value for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.