• Beth Hildebrand

A Lesson From A Pet Dog


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On a cold, New Year’s Eve at 3 o’clock in the morning, my husband and I put our miniature schnauzer in the car and headed to the emergency vet.  All day he’d seemed a little restless and anxious  not sitting still, panting more than usual and occasionally whimpering.  We travelled an hour down the road that evening to spend the weekend with my mom and sister’s family to celebrate our Christmas together.

The week before we had been to my husband’s family for Christmas and we’d given him more than usual “people food” along with a Christmas dog bone that was filled with marrow he had consumed the New Year’s eve eve.

When the symptoms increased in the wee hours of the morning and because he was keeping us awake, we bit the bullet (with a guilty feeling) and headed to this emergency vet we knew nothing about but it was the closest one that was open.  At first Levi (our dog) was excited to be somewhere new.  He was sniffing everything and seemed happy which made us rethink why we even brought him.

But when we went into the patient room, he tensed all over because he then realized he was at the veterinarian and he did NOT want to be there anymore.  The vet and assistant were very friendly and knowledgeable even at 4am.  As she talked to Levi, the vet poked and prodded to see if there was any abnormality.  Then she went to look in his ears to see if he had an ear infection.

Well, she couldn’t tell because there was so much fur inside his ear.  That’s because when he’s taken to be groomed, Levi makes it clear with a growl that he doesn’t want the groomer to clean out and cut the fur out of his ears.  Grrrrrrrr is what I say.

If our dog allowed the groomer to unclog his furry ears, then he’d hear better and it would be a healthier choice so if a doctor needed to see inside, she could.

A couple of days later while I was remembering that early morning adventure, I thought how I can get that way Levi does too – not only eating too much junk food, but also how my ears seem to be clogged up sometimes.

I seem to hear a loud buzz of voices in the world who shout out bad news and thousands of opinions and analyzations about it.  The TV and radio commercials, the constant hum of noise in stores, or those people who only stop talking when they’re asleep.  It can also be hard to hear the voice of God sometimes.

Have there been times in your life when it feels like your ears are clogged up and you can’t hear what God has to say to you?  You don’t make room or time for silence which allows you to be aware of God’s voice

Again with some guilt, I’ve done that more times than I want to confess.  I’ve been too busy, distracted, or stubborn to “clean out my ears” to hear what He might have to say.  I know there’s time when God does remain silent, but listening to the Lord is an offering to Him.  The offering ALLOWS God THE CHANCE TO TELL US WHAT HE CAN DO.

How can we hear if we don’t pay attention?  Make time to listen?  I need to pray as David did,

“O Godhear my prayer, and open Your ears to the words from my mouth.” (Psalm 54:2)

I’m pretty sure God’s ears will never clog up and will always hear us.

So this year let’s take the challenge to be more intentional to listen.  Listen more to your children, your spouse, your friends.  Make more effort to allow silence to help us hear the whisper of God.   Ask God to hear His voice more than the world’s.

Allow God the chance to tell you what He can do.

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