One of the most important lessons that I have learned from my small dog, is to hold on. You see, the word "dachshund" means badger hound. Dachshunds were used in Germany to hunt the fierce badger, a diabolical animal. These little dogs would leap into the air and grab the badger by its nose. Fierce and faithful, the dog would not let go, even unto death. At other times, the dachshund's long, low body was able to follow the badger down into its hole, and nine times out of ten, the dachshund was the victor, simply by holding on.
My Happy Dog has had four insecticide treatments that nearly killed him. He has had two spinal surgeries, within a month of each other. And last year, after minor surgery, he nearly bled to death. Yet, to see him today, you would see a bright, sturdy, fiercely unafraid, highly intelligent, clown of a dog, who never gives up. Happy Dog holds on! Always.
Many times in my life, I don't hold on. I go to pieces, even though God has stepped in again and again, to save the day. Even though Jesus went to the Cross willingly, just to save miserable old me. No, this is not false humility. When things get tough, I whine. When I don't understand what God is saying to me, I complain. I can grumble with the loudest of the Israelites on their worst day in the desert. Sure, God gave them water, but that was yesterday. Sure God healed me of many things, but that was not today. Often I get so busy being miserable, that I forget to wait for the blessing. I can't hear God, while I'm making so much noise.
So, today, I'm taking a page from Happy Dog's book. If I start to slip, I'll hold on. If I come to the end of my rope, and I can't tie a knot, I'll dig my nails in, and I won't let go.
Last night, I turned my head to look at my husband, and the vision in my right eye failed. His face was nothing but a blue haze. It broke my heart. One of the first things I remember about the first time I saw my husband, was his face: thoughtful, intelligent, and kind. His eyes are a forest green, and the light in them shines only for me. I love him. It's as simple as that.
Yesterday, our youngest daughter was seen at University Hospital, and we discovered that her pituitary tumor has responded to her medication, beautifully. The tumor has shrunk by a third. This sweet child of mine is full of courage. When things get tough, she holds on. She doesn't let go. And God, through the wonders of modern medicine, has not forgotten her courage. By His grace, the medicine is successful.
So, now, as we all rejoice in this good news, I must understand how important it is for me. Through darkness and light, I must hold on. Believe. Trust. Stubbornly placing one foot in front of the other, while reaching out for the only One who can rescue me. Hold on, Jaye. Hold on to Him.
Father in Heaven, when life seems dark and the ground shakes beneath my feet, grant me the grace to trust, to believe, and like my little Happy Dog, give me the strength to just hold on.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008