Vern couldn’t understand why the collar was being placed around his neck. He was inside and there was no one around. The last time he wore the collar was when he had run off and almost got hit by a car. He remembered the noise, followed by the vibration. At that point, he wasn’t sure what it all meant and kept running towards the road. That was when the shock hit him and he stopped dead in his tracks. He never wanted to feel that again. He wasn’t sure what to do and so he stopped and waited for his owner to come and pick him up.
But this time, Vern was inside, minding his own business. Scared and bewildered, he crawled under the foot rest and hid. It was then that the doorbell rang and other humans were entering. Usually, Vern would jump up on them to greet them, but fear of the feeling swept over him. His human looked at him and said the words “down”. He knew what that meant and complied. She had the blue thing in her hand which Vern had come to understand made the feeling. So he sat still and allowed the humans to reach down and pet him.
How many times have we been stopped in our tracks by an event or tragedy, and wondered what we had done to cause it? We could’ve been minding our own business, going through life without a care and then it happens. A death, financial crisis, break up, or sickness that comes out of nowhere. And then what? Do we look up to our heavenly Father and question why? Hoping for an answer so the crisis won’t be repeated.
Jesus came and was surrounded by crisis. Everyone that approached him had a situation begging for the answer to why. But Jesus never attempted to respond to the why question. Instead he directed their thoughts upward. When Martha asked Jesus why her brother had died, Jesus stated in John 11:40 “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 states it this way. “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.”
God loves us and Vern’s humans love him. The collar hasn’t had to be turned on again. The only one time was enough. The use of the collar was done out of love to protect the little dog from something far greater than the “bad” feeling.
In the same manner, there will be times that we will suffer. But if we look deeply within the pain, we may see the glory of God and know that there is an eternal good in it that will be seen when we reach our final destination.