Rough Week

If I were to rank my weeks on a scale of 1-to-stellar, I would say this one was in the toilet. Weird things happened, nothing went right, and every time I turned around, I got more bad news. To top it off, today I had to take my beloved dog Harley that I’ve had for the past seven years to the emergency animal hospital to have his stomach pumped. I thought I had closed my pantry door, and the little guy never gets in the kitchen trash, but apparently I didn’t, and he did, and he scavenged some old coffee grounds from yesterday’s brew while I was away at church. Coffee grounds are toxic to dogs, can cause a rapid heart rate, seizures or death.

Harley is not a person, he’s only a dog, and I realize this. But he’s also been my little guy for the past seven years–he has seen me through so many life changes, seven different moves, more boyfriends than I’d care to mention, two jobs, 12 graduate classes… and he’s just a really good companion.
So my heart has broken for my little puppy tonight, as the vet pumped his stomach, gave him charcoal to absorb the rest, then put him on IVs and a catheter. And now we wait. We wait to see if my little guy will pull through and come back home to see me through more boyfriends and jobs and life events and afternoons playing fetch in the sunshine.
What’s crazy is that even during a really crummy week–and trust me, this one has been really crummy–I’m still so encouraged because I can have hope.

Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
(Psalm 126:2)

I taught on Psalm 126 last week in Sunday School, and I have experienced times of joy that were so great that my only reaction could be one of unbridled emotion… delighting in just how amazing my God has been. It’s crazy, because I experienced that very recently.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
(Psalm 126: 4-5)

I’ve also been here… where I’m waiting and asking my God to restore things back to the way they were in the good times… in a way that only he can do. Just like the streams in the Negev (desert) could only happen after a bountiful rain, something only he could orchestrate.

I love this Psalm, because it shows both sides. The author has experienced God’s awesomeness in the past, and knows he will experience it again in the future. But now he’s waiting… waiting and begging, and in the meantime, even though things are rough, he’s still sowing. Sowing when it’s hard, because he knows he can’t reap without first sowing. Sowing in a time that’s so hard he can can’t help but cry, and yet he continues to sow that seed. Because one day the harvest will come.

So when times are really good in my life, I praise a God who blesses abundantly. When things really stink–like tonight–I still praise my God because he is near to the brokenhearted, because I have a God who knows the sadness I feel about a poor, sick dog, and because his plan is so much more beautiful than anything that I can muster up. And so I will praise him, and I will sow.

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