Maybe I Need a Cone Collar

Sunday afternoon, when my dog-loving daughter Abby was home, we discovered that our smallest and most emotionally insecure dog, Benji, had a large, gaping, puss oozing wound on one of his hind legs. Abby freaked out.

That's Benji there in the front, fresh from
the groomer's last Thursday. Tommy rarely lets
him out of his sight.
And of course that sent me and James into full panic mode as well. My husband, who doesn't like to spend money on people medical bills, grabbed the dog and headed to an emergency vet. I went in search of "something" that would help at Petsmart. Abby, trembling and calling us on her cell phone every few minutes, went to Target to shop for shampoo and body wash or something...

Long story short...we ended up bringing Benji home from the vet without having to pay the $200 emergency fee because the vet simply took a look at the wound and determined it wasn't an emergency.

Thank you, kind vet.

And I bought some liquid bandage and a cone collar at Petsmart. You see, I had known that Benji had been nicked at the groomer's on Thursday, but the puncture was so small that I couldn't even see it (because I didn't deem it important enough to put my reading glasses on to see). But Benji had caused a very little "nick" to turn into a huge, gaping, oozing wound because, unbeknownst to me, he had been steadily, persistently, and ferociously licking it.

I guess I could remove the tag from the cone...
Turns out, licking your wounds causes them to grow in size and severity. Go figure.

For the past few days, Benji has worn his cone collar 'round the clock, except for the blissful, precious moments when I un-collar him and allow him to roam freely...under my vigilant gaze. I want Benji to heal. I want him to be whole and happy and carefree again. (I want Abby to love me.)

Don't worry, Abby, he's getting better...and he's getting lots of attention!
But left to his own devices, Benji would be right back to licking that wound until he licked his whole leg off!

Now here's where the story gets plain out disgusting and vile. No, it's not about Benji; it's about me.

I've been wounded recently, too. As to whether it was a nicking or a piercing of the heart and soul...well that would depend on what day you ask me about it.

And then, yep, you got it, I've been licking my wound. 

I was convicted of this heinous truth today when I was examining Benji's slowly healing leg. I said to my daft little dog, "Benji, it looks like you licked that thing while I wasn't looking! It was so much better this morning. If you'd just stop licking your wound, it would heal!"


Are You Struggling, Too?
This week we've been talking about getting victory in our personal struggles. We're operating under the premise that everyone is struggling with something. Whether it's a little thing--even according to your own radar--or of earthquake proportions, your struggle is hard.

But many of us make the struggle bigger, longer-lasting, more infectious, and more damaging because we persist in it. We anxiously think it out...over and over and over. We talk it out. We reflect on past conversations. We plot future conversations. We analyze it from every angle. We Google it and read everyone else's advice on it. We find songs on the radio to accompany it. We cry about it. We cry about it some more. We pout over it. And, yes, we pray about it.

But rather than praying with faith to a big and capable God, we whine to a little god of our own making, whose hands seem to be tied, and we walk away satisfied that He won't do anything so "I'll need to take care of this one."

We lick our wounds rather than allowing the Great Physician to do the work He is both skilled and willing to do...for no emergency fee!

I looked Benji in his little eyes today and told him apologetically, "Benji, I'm going to stop licking my wounds so God can heal them. I need you to keep your little tongue in that cone and away from your leg so it can heal, too. Deal?"

Romans 8:28 resonates with all of us, right?

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.

If we really do know that, then we need to stop licking our wounds and give Him time and permission to heal them instead.

Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord!
Psalm 27:14

I think it's time to stop licking my wounds and wait patiently for God to bring healing instead. I'd go out and buy a cone collar for myself if I thought it'd help. Maybe if we memorize and meditate on these scriptures that remind us that God is at work we'll be able to keep from licking our festering wounds so they can heal instead. That would be a whole lot more attractive than the cone thing any how. Trust me :)

What are some of the ways you've been licking your wounds lately? How's that working for you? What could you do instead while you wait for God to do a complete work in your situation?

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