“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:13-14 NIV)
As I lifted Hoss, my eleven year old standard wire haired dachshund onto the bed, I noticed that he was quite bloated. Mmm, I wonder what he’s been eating outside, was my first thought. Then turning out the light we all settled down to sleep.
During the night I awoke and put on the bedside lamp to check to see if Hoss was any better. He wasn’t. In fact he seemed worse. Lifting his upper lip I checked his gum colour and was not impressed. They were very pale.
At four a.m. I arose and felt the need to get showered, dressed and complete both inside and outside chores before calling the vet at six.
At six a.m. I made the call. After filling the vet in on Hoss’ condition she asked if I could bring him in. I already had my truck running and was prepared for the two hour journey. Loading Hoss up, I drove off into the darkness. Little did I know how dark the trip would end up being.
Two and a half hours later I stood looking at an ultrasound picture that revealed a huge blood tumour on Hoss’s liver which had ruptured and was bleeding into his abdomen. Horrified by this totally unexpected revelation, I also knew there was only one solution to the problem.
After a tearful good bye to my beloved friend, I headed back out into the darkness for the long drive home. The tumour was a very slow growing type and the vet explained that there is normally no symptoms what so ever, until it ruptures and bleeds out. There was nothing anyone could have done.
As I considered this diagnosis and the end result, I was very thankful. I was thankful that Hoss had been running about happy and carefree up until the last twelve hours of his life. I was thankful that God had given me the wisdom to get up and get moving that morning and to get him up to the vets when I did. He was uncomfortable but not yet in pain. That would have come in agony if I had waited. I was thankful for a kind and compassion veterinarian who acted with skill and kindness. And I was thankful for all the years I shared with a unique character of a canine who changed my life for the better.
I also once again considered, that how when we go to bed at night or wake up in the morning we never know what unexpected happenings may come our way. So it is always best to live our lives in such a way as to not regret the decisions we make from day to day.
It is always best to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and to not lean upon our own reasoning, but in all our ways to acknowledge Him that He might direct our paths. For indeed each and every one of us is but as a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes only too soon.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that though we are in many ways but a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes, when we trust in You, each and every day, we can also know that when our time comes to fly away from this world, that just as Hoss left me with good and indelible memories, that the lives we have lived will also leave a marvelous testimony to others of Your loving kindness and mercy. The kind of testimony that not only gives our life meaning now and for eternity but also brings glory to Your kingdom. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.