Psalms 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.
October 4, 2020
We are living in very uncertain times. We never know what each moment will bring let alone each day. As a matter of fact, we can only live in the moment because that is the only place where we truly reside. We have to trust God with each and every single moment of our lives because our lives can change in less than a split second.
My life changed on last Tuesday, September 29th in a matter of seconds when my little Cockapoo, my four legged daughter, Ella Mae, was hit by a truck. I had been home less than a minute before seeing Ella happily jumping up and down when she came to greet me in the garage. Within less than 30 seconds she would be struck by a truck when she crossed the street trying to go after a turkey. Seconds is all I had with Ella in that moment. And I was so happy that I spent them with our joyous high-energy exchange of being-home greetings.
My life didn’t seem real in the next moments after that tragic accident and sometimes it still doesn’t feel real that she’s not physically here. She was such a huge part of my and my family's life. Ella has been there to help me get through some of the roughest periods in my life. But she was also there to share in many happy occasions. Ella hardly ever missed a family event.
After my Mom passed I literally did not want to come out of the house to go anywhere. It seemed that every where I went was a painful reminded of my Mom being physically gone. So, I unfortunately avoided going out and just stayed home. I had heard of people confined to their homes for various reasons and felt so sad for them. But, I never thought that would be me.
I would get anxiety so bad until I thought my heart would beat itself right out of my chest. Being at home was difficult too, but I had to be somewhere and I rather just stay in my house. At least I didn’t have to pass a church which was a huge part of my life with my Mom, I didn't have to pass a Dollar Store where my mother loved to shop, Safeway, Citibank, Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the thrift store, and all of the other places that my Mom loved to go and that I used to take her. Home was the better of two seemingly unpleasant situations.
My Mom used to say before she passed that she saw this little black dog that kept coming to her in a vision. And then one day, my daughter told me about this litter of Cockapoos and that there was a black one. She said she felt that was the little black dog that my Mom saw and talked about all of the time.
So I went to see this little black dog and immediately I knew, we knew, that we were meant for each other. Ella came and jumped in my lap and looked at me with her big pretty brown eyes as if to say “I’ve been waiting for you”. And truly I had been waiting for her too.
There’s a lot of research on animals being therapeutic for a variety of conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a host of other medical problems. There are dogs who alert a diabetic when their blood sugar is dangerously low so that he or she can get glucose into their system before they lose consciousness. Some dogs can detect cancer in human bodies. And we know the benefits of seeing eye dogs for the blind. God really did make animals special. And there’s so much more that we have yet to learn about animals. But, there are so many things we may never know about their connection to humans.
Ella helped me to get through my Mom’s passing, my best friend’s passing who was like a brother to me, and my PhD program which was very difficult. She was there to comfort me through all of the rough times in my marriage and through my divorce and all of the other days in between since I was first blessed with her.
But, Ella not only helped me to get through the bad days, she made the good days even better. She accompanied me to a lot of places- on planes, to hotels, and movies, Ella even accompanied me to church, which was extremely difficult for me immediately after my Mom passed, because of the strong association that the church had with me and my Mom. And although Ella was a service animal, this particular church and the members were open to well behaved animals worshipping with them. God did say let everything that have breath praise the Lord.
Some people don’t understand the connection between humans and animals and therefore they don’t understand the love and very special bond that I had with Ella and her sister Belle that passed 7 years earlier and that’s OK. The point of this message is not to try and make people understand that fact or convert them into dog or animal lovers. The point of this message is about trusting God with each and every single moment of our lives, even when our lives change in the twinkling of an eye with the unexpected.
Yes, God gives us people and animals throughout our lives. But, they are all temporary because God makes it clear that He is the only one who will be with us for all eternity. God gives us people and animals to accomplish His will in our lives and when that is done, God removes them from our lives.
Days before my Mom passed she said that God was getting ready to take her because He told her that her work down here was done and that she had taken her kids as far as she could take them in this life, the rest was up to us. My Mom was not sick, she was just speaking the prophetic word that God gave to her. And I do believe it is the same with Ella, God sent her to me for specific seasons of my life and when her work was done, God took her back.
Whenever tragedy strikes or something unfortunate happens, although devastated and grief is present, I’ve learned to put my trust in God. I’ve learned to trust Him that whatever happened was all part of His divine plan. I trust God that there were lessons to learn through the good and the seemingly bad times.
God said that He won’t give us more than we can bear. But He never said that He wouldn’t give us all that we can bear. That’s one of the things that I’ve come to know and love about God is that whatever trials and tribulations that He allows us to bear is because He knows that when we lean on Him, instead of on our own failing strength, that we can bear anything. And it is those anythings that cause us to trust in the Lord and gain strength from Him. Psalms 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.
We may never fully know why things happen and we don’t need to know. We just have to trust God with our whole heart that He knows and loves us and is with us through it all. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.
We even have to trust God with our grief because it causes us to lean on Him more and brings us closer to Him. That’s why it’s good not to suppress grief and the pain that is felt after loss of any kind. Your blessings come from trusting in God and without having any trials and tribulations there would be no reason to trust Him. Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is.
When you trust God no matter the situation, He will show you mercy with the utmost compassion. He will tenderly hide you in the shadow of His regal wings. You can rest with the utmost peace and confidence as long as you need to until your calamities have passed and you have gained the strength that you need to fly again. Psalms 57:1 Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in Thee: yea, in the shadow of Thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast. And I will and you will fly again, because like my Mom, the wise and great philosopher Estella M. Davis said ‘When the heart is lifted the body can fly’.
Dear Father God,
Thank You Lord God for being eternally and flawlessly trustworthy. I put all of my trust in You Lord God. Lord, I thank You for all of my losses, each and every one, because Lord they have taught me to trust You more and more with each one that I have encountered and endured. Through trusting You Lord, I have had to lean on You more instead of on my own failing strength. Through trusting You, I have maintained, retained, and regained my joy. Through trusting You Lord and not looking to my own understanding of why things have happened, You have directed my paths into Your divine knowledge. Through trusting You Lord, I have hope, because I have You. And through trusting You Lord, I can rest in Your mercy and the shadow of Your regal wings until my calamities have passed. Through trusting You Lord, my heart is lifted, so that my body, mind, soul, and spirit can fly again. I love You Lord.
In Jesus name I pray,