I learned a lesson this week, one I would like to share with you. Saturday night, as I began my prayers, I found myself having a real struggle coming up with praise. Every night when I start my prayers, I begin with all the thanks and praise I have for God, as I believe the Lord’s Prayer teaches us. Sadly, only a few hours earlier, our 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel, Jodi, died suddenly and without any previous signs of illness. If you’ve read my previous thoughts on “The Faith of a Cocker Spaniel”, then you understand how close we were to Jodi. So, I’m sure you’ve guessed I had a little anger and heartache attacking my spirit.
It turns out that even in Jodi’s death she had one last lesson she could teach me. You see, only a few days later I received the news that a couple I knew had lost their baby four and a half months into the pregnancy. Even though they would not blame God for what happened, how could they find the energy or the motivation to praise God that night? I bet, as I did, you think you get the point. Let’s see. On hearing the news, I thought, “That’s the worst.” I couldn’t even imagine being in their shoes. Later that evening the news was reporting on a man who not only lost his daughter, but his wife as well, to a killer in a national park in California. Before the week was out I had seen stories from an entire family dying in a house fire, to entire villages being wiped out in Kosovo.
So, as heartbroken as I felt about Jodi, I should have had no trouble praising the Lord for not having lost a child. As bad as my friends felt over the loss of their baby, they should praise God they still have each other. While I could not begin to understand the terrible heartache caused by the murder of a wife and daughter, one should praise God for the family and friends they still have, for by God’s grace they were not born in Kosovo to watch everyone they love pulled into the street and killed.
So Just A Thought, the Bible says to Praise God in All Things. Does this mean I should praise God for Jodi’s death? Of course not! What it means is that in spite of what Satan has brought upon you, you should praise God for what you have, for others have less and, even at its worst, we still have God.
At times I know it will still be difficult to see the good God brings me every day; however, even in Satan’s heaviest attacks, I will praise God… In All Things.
3/1/2004 Scott A Caughel