Earlier today, we took Carl in for his annual checkup. We knew that we might confront some issues but were hoping that he would cooperate. It hasn’t been a year since Carl had to have his tail removed due to it being a screw tail. This was an extremely painful surgery due to the tail being an extension of the spinal cord. It took months before he would allow anyone to place their hand on his lower back without him growling or moving away. So it didn’t surprise us when the assistant placed the thermometer into Carl’s backend that he became extremely upset. A male assistant came in to hold Carl down, but by this time, he was baring his teeth and trying to nip his hand. It was then that they had no choice but to place a muzzle on him to keep him from opening his mouth. The unique quality about this muzzle was that it also covered Carl’s eyes so he couldn’t see what was about to happen.
With Carl being blinded, the vet was able to give him two shots, take blood and check his ears. It was clear that he wasn’t happy but since he couldn’t see what was going to happen next, he was much more cooperative.
I can’t help but wonder how much we are like Carl. When we are aware of the trials that we are going through, we can become frustrated or even hostile. We can lash out at the people that are closest to us and often cause damage to our relationships. But when we are blinded by the unknown, we seem to be able to tolerate much more than what we could ever imagine.
As I look back at my life and the many trials that I have gone through, I must say that I am extremely grateful that I wasn’t aware of what was going to happen. If I knew that suffering was in my future, I believe I would become either hostile or be consumed with the knowledge of what lay ahead.
These thoughts only provoke a strong sense of appreciation for what Jesus did for me. He knew that he would suffer and even told his disciples on many occasions about the specific details. But even so, he stayed focused on his mission without hostility or anger. With each miracle he performed or lesson he preached, the road to Calvary drew closer.
And on the last night before his death, he took the time to wash his disciples’ feet to demonstrate his love for them. All the time, knowing the physical suffering he would endure.
So as I look over at Carl after being home for a couple of hours, I can’t help but think of how he responded earlier in the day while he was blinded. I never would have been grateful for the unknown that I experience on a daily basis without first witnessing how my little pup endured the darkness.