I Want You to Live

My dog almost died this week. I love my dog, Cubbie. She brought this on herself, but while waiting to know if she was going to pull through, we started processing …blaming ourselves, being mad at her, pleading with God to save her, crying over what could be…and being super determined to keep anyone else from having to experience this for themselves. 

My public service announcement is to keep any sugar-free food items out of reach of your dog. The artificial sweetener, Xylitol, is poison for your pup. It can kill them in less than an hour. Cubbie ate about 20 pieces of Mentos and Juicy Fruit gum. She dug in my purse, pulled out a sealed plastic bag, chewed the bottom out, and ate the gum. My husband had only been gone for 30 minutes. When he returned, there was plastic bag shrapnel all over the kitchen. This is a common find at our house. She eats everything. When I came in, I knew immediately what she had eaten. I had heard how deadly it could be, so texted a vet friend and looked on the internet. The weird thing is, she had eaten sugar-free gum before. She threw it up and that was the end of it. Last time gave us false security. This time, within 15 more minutes, she was rigid, shaking, and unresponsive. It FREAKED me out! I scooped her up and headed for her vet. Praises go to Jesus for allowing her to survive the 10-minute car ride and to respond to the quick treatment by the angels who work there. It was touch and go for 36 hours, but she is now recovered and at my feet as I type. Crisis averted. This was definitely the most expensive gum I have ever purchased! My goal now is to ensure everyone knows what can happen if a dog consumes xylitol. Isn’t this how trauma impacts us sometimes? It can emotionally paralyze us for a moment, but often, in time, it spurs us to action.

Being motivated to action comes from our desire to NOT experience, or have others experience, a repeat performance!

We are coming up on our nation’s celebration of independence. Throughout our nation’s history, we have been through trauma. In my lifetime, we have participated in wars in Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan, to mention a few. We have had mass shootings, bombings, and cult-driven mass suicides. We have been the object of terror attacks, the most devastating of which was 9/11. Most recently, we have overcome a pandemic, but we are still suffering its residue. In all these things, we learn lessons from it, and try like heck to avoid anything like this happening again.

The way we passionately chase the common goal of avoiding the repetition of trauma often differs from other people’s ways. These differences can create divisions and controversy, even hatred, over others’ solutions. For years, differing opinions on the right way to follow Jesus have created separation in The Church. People who are all passionate about following Him become so focused on their own interpretation and conviction, that their spiritual vision becomes clouded. We forget that the two greatest commandments spoken by Jesus Himself are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…And the second…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) LOVE.

Jesus also prays for the unity of believers: “I pray for all of [those who believe in the Gospel] that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you…I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” (John 17:20-23) UNITY. 

Of course, there are doctrinal issues that need to be addressed from time to time. Ultimately, however, we should remember that Jesus’s LOVE prompted Him to lay down His life for our sins, and His desire for believers’ UNITY tells us to copy Him and lay down our lives for others. 

My husband and I may differ on the best ways to keep Cubbie from ever ingesting anything that may take her life, but the goal is the same. Keep her alive. As believers, don’t we want to see as many as possible come to a saving knowledge of Jesus so that they can have eternal life? In unity, let us love with abandon so that people will be drawn to life in Him.


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