Puppy love is officially known as a “temporary love of an adolescent.” My definition of puppy love, however, has to do with how I feel about certain furry animals. Growing up, my family had a dog named Prissy. Every year she would have a playful litter of puppies. Each time, I watched her labor and give birth with great anticipation of cuddling every one of them. As a young girl I have to admit that the process was both disgusting and breathtaking at the same time. Her labor made me wince as I watched and cheered her on. On the other side of her pain offered a remarkable thing for me. It was good. It was a special kind of “puppy love.”
As an adult I often reflect on Prissy and her puppies. These were my happy thoughts. These were thoughts that reminded me that good can come out of pain.
Sometimes we are in a painful situation and cannot even dream that it may result in good. I suppose we become so consumed with the pain that we lose hope and cannot see beyond it. One such occasion from several years ago affected me in this way. In the mid-1990s, I had an allergic reaction to a prescribed medication. The reaction caused my lungs to partially deflate and close up (atelectasis). It was painfully difficult to breath and every deep breath resulted in coughing that was reminiscent of a “dog barking.” The prescribed treatment for my condition…breathe deeply (in spite of the pain) in order to reopen my lungs. Should I choose to not face the pain…they told me I could anticipate living with an oxygen tank for the rest of my life.
At first I could not see any good that could come of this, but then I noticed the following:
- It was bringing my family together and my friends together around a common desire.
- I was grasping what genuine trust in the Lord looked like.
- It was causing me to lean on God and allowing Him to be in control.
- It was an opportunity to share my faith.
- It caused me to see that the very breath I am given is a gift that cannot be taken for granted.
Good was rising up out of a difficult situation.
With Gods help my lungs were restored and I was delighted to not sound like a “barking dog” with every cough.
While I would not have chosen this condition for myself, I grew from it, was matured by it, and saw God move in it.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
I pray that whatever pain you are experiencing at this time, that you would take a deep breath (in spite of the pain) and ask God to show you the “good” He intends “through it.” You may never know the reason for the pain, but God is faithful to see you through it and to strengthen you by it.
Prayer: Lord, I don’t always understand what you are doing, but I choose to trust You no matter what comes my way. Help me see good in my pain and help me accept Your way even when it does not make sense to me. I pray for peace in the midst of the storm. In Jesus Name. Amen