No Suffering Compares To What Comes
We all go through hard times and when going through those hard times we wonder if any good will ever come of it. We at times feel like failures, like we have messed everything up, like we are worthless, at times we can feel that the decisions we make are poor ones and that if we were only stronger, wiser, or more compassionate we would have acted differently or done differently.
However, we never know what beautiful things can come out of our pain. Even when we believe we have made huge mistakes, or we feel we have let so many down by not acting a certain way or doing a certain thing, even when we feel like we have messed everything up for our lives and family, or even our pets, what we don’t always see is the miracle that comes out of it all. We can’t begin to comprehend the wonderful things that actually are birthed out of choices we have made that brought us many tears and heartache. This short essay is to show you, that even when you feel like a failure, like you have let everyone down, that the very thing you did that brought you so much pain was meant to be for the greater good.
One of the things that I constantly try to get across on this site is that God is in control. Not you, not your family, friends, or neighbors, God! That means that everything that is happening, regardless of whether or not we believe it is the right or wrong thing to do, is for the greater good. Because we know ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THOSE THAT LOVE GOD.
So whether you have a relationship that has fallen apart, or you did something you thought was really dumb and it cost you your job, whether you have lost your temper or didn’t stand up for yourself, all of it has a purpose. The past is the foundation for the future. And whatever has happened, we must accept HAD TO HAPPEN for the good that will come out of it. EVEN IF YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE WAS SO WRONG. Even if you believe you have been treated wrong, raised wrong, abused, it all plays a part in bringing this perfect creation to its beautiful climatic end.
This is a hard lesson for all of us to learn. We have a knack for beating ourselves up again and again for what we perceive as our shortcomings or failures in our life. But as I stated before, we truly don’t know what comes out of such sufferings.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us
This will be my shortest essay to date. The reason is early this morning I got some news that soon brought tears of joy to my eyes. Months ago a decision had to be made about one of our dogs. His name was COOKIE. And I loved cookie. But Cookie was a bit nippy, and demanded so much attention, more than I alone could give him. The children couldn’t handle him, my wife was scared of him, and I alone just couldn’t take care of him, and my three children, career, house, bills, yard, other dog, cat, frog, and wife. Cookie became very difficult to manage. As hard as I tried, as much as I loved the dog, he was too much.
Now one thing I want you to know about me, is I believe in responsibility. Regardless if it is keeping your vows, staying faithful, being there for your children, meeting your work requirements, or in cookies case, never giving up on an animal you adopt. So when Cookie got nippy with one of my boys and caught his face with a tooth my wife said Cookie had to go. But I also knew Cookie had to go. I felt terrible, I felt like I was giving up on this poor animal, that I was a cop-out, that I was a man who couldn’t live up to the responsibilities of caring for the very animal I rescued.
So I began looking for shelters, and I found Kent Animal Shelter in Long Island, NY… It is a non kill shelter and rated as one of the best in NY. It just so happened they had one spot. Now cookie was half American Bull dog and Half Pit, and he was a beast of a dog. BUT SUCH A MOOSH! I worried because of his size and hyper nature that they wouldn’t take him. But I worried more that they would. I prayed on my way there, that if I am meant to keep this animal that they will not take him, and if I am not they will.
I arrived and at first it looked liked it wasn’t going to happen. But soon the love of Cookie won them over. He past all the tests, I signed the papers, made a contribution and drove away in tears. I cried hysterically, feeling like a failure, like a loser. I felt like I had given up on one of my children and that I was like those people who adopt animals and when things get hard they just get rid of them like they are disposable. I felt like I had let everyone down, a feeling I get quite a lot.
I prayed that Cookie would be adopted quickly by a wonderful family and they Cookie would be happier than ever before. But for days I walked around feeling like a total loser. I imagined Cookie alone in the corner of one of their pens crying for me, shivering, or starving himself. It was horrible.
I soon learned it really was the best thing for the house, our other dog Daisy was now getting more love than ever before, the house was cute, things weren’t getting broken, and I wasn’t constantly having to run downstairs, or outside to see his demands were met. Even though I now felt like it was the right thing for my family and home, I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I just gave up on this animal.
Now when I say that I am very hard on myself, that puts it lightly. I am a deep thinker, and even though I intellectually know everything is as it is meant to be, I don’t always remember to practice what I preach. So for months I suffered, less and less as time past. But every time I saw a cookie or an old picture of my dog that pain came right back. “WHAT A FAILURE I WAS! WHAT A LOSER! HOW COULD I DO SUCH A THING TO SUCH A WONDERFUL ANIMAL?”
Well this morning early a miracle came to me. I received a phone call. My dear friend Donna saw a picture of Cookie on Kent’s blog. I couldn’t believe it!
She went on to tell me. That Cookie was adopted by a trainer who trains animals to help disabled vets, blind, lame, sick, and more. My Cookie! The dog that I thought I was giving up on, was actually meant for a greater purpose than simply bringing my family enjoyment and craziness. Cookie was meant to lead the blind, the lame, the sick, and more. MY DOG!
My smile, which is still on my face hasn’t been this big in a while. So I immediately went to their website, looked it up and there was Cookie giving the trainer a big old kiss, and a wonderful article. MY DOG IS GOING TO BE A HEALER, A GUIDE, AND A HELPER! A purpose far greater than I could have ever given him.
In that moment, I realized all of the waisted energy I had spent. All the times I beat myself up and put myself down, thinking I had done wrong. When in fact, if I could have seen what was to come of Cookie, I would have handed that dog over proudly! You see Cookie was meant for greater things, as we all are. We never believe we can do more, or be more, than we believe ourselves to be. We so often think that things we do are huge mistakes, when in fact if we did not make them we would never be able to go to where God is bringing us all.
We must not be like I was when it came to giving Cookie away. We must accept things as they are, because they are meant to be as they are. And even though we may suffer, even though we may feel like failures and losers, NOTHING CAN COMPARE TO THE GLORY THAT WILL BE REVEALED when all the dust has settled and we see that there truly was no other way for us to enter into the promise God has waiting for us. So as you read this article on my Dog Cookie, remember just because we think we have failed or done wrong by our loved ones, if it wasn’t for those actions the purpose of God in their lives and ours would never be met. So we must learn to rejoice, even in the things that we believe were our greatest mistakes. We must learn to forgive ourselves, and trust that if God wanted anything in our past to be different it would be different. And we must walk into the moment, proud, head held high, seeing ourselves the way God sees us. Because we never know that even our greatest mistakes may have been our greatest contributions to the world and our own lives. We must always remember, keep close to our hearts, and be quick to speak from our lips, that GOD IN IN CONTROL, SO REST!
When we enter that rest nothing will matter, no pain will be too great, no challenge beyond our reach, and victory will be shouted and experienced in every area of our lives. So, let yourself off the hook and go with the flow. And trust me when I say, when you know this experientially it will change everything for you, and it will indeed set you free. Enjoy the article, and wonderful allegory of my Dog cookie who I now know I didn’t give up on, but I simply prepared to be a dog that could go on and change or even save the life of countless people hurting today.
All they can be… Kent dogs drafted to help wounded vets
March 21st, 2011 Blindness, amputated limbs, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder—these are just a few of the serious, life-changing injuries that soldiers are returning home with. The physical and emotional challenges these men and women face in recovery and adjusting back to civilian life can be… overwhelming.
A group called Vets Helping Heroes is providing something special to these wounded returning vets: service dogs and guide dogs. With training, dogs can help veterans live again with dignity and self-reliance. They can guide or provide balance for added mobility. In the event of danger or a medical emergency, such as a seizure or fall, they can sound the alert. They can retrieve or carry objects. And last but not least, they can be a friend and constant companion.
This week, a retired veteran named Michael Sergeant of Vets Helping Heroes adopted three dogs from Kent Animal Shelter to be trained to help wounded vets. Here is Mr. Sergeant with one of the dogs, Cookie.
Retired veteran Michael Sergeant again with Cookie
A sturdy breed with a good temperament is an ideal companion dog for wounded veterans. With training and attention, they’ll make excellent helpers.
Kent Animal Shelter is proud and grateful to have had this chance to help wounded veterans and to give three of our dogs the chance to shine. Pets can have amazing healing powers!
Thank you God for answering my prayers and the prayers of those in need today. Help us all to let go of what we believe are our failures and help us to trust that you are guiding our steps to where we need to be. Jacob