Samantha, my 13 year old Siamese, had surgery 10 days ago to remove a cyst over her left eye. Samantha has always been an easily frightened cat and taking her to the vet is never easy for either one of us. But the cyst had been growing slowly over the past several months and it was time to have it removed before it got any closer to her eye.
I had dreaded this from the time we set the surgery date. I dreaded it because I knew it would traumatize Samantha and there was no way I could explain it to her. She is a house cat and used to being spoiled, not having unpleasant things happen to her. I had to take up her food and water the night before surgery and that meant no breakfast. She would be placed in a carrier (which spells “vet visit”), left alone in a place that frightened her, and wake up unable to stand steadily on her feet, and probably hurting. This morning’s return visit to have stitches removed meant more of the same. Samantha should not have pain this time, but it will require being sedated again because she is so out of control with fear that they would never be able to remove the stitches otherwise.
I am a sucker for animals and can’t bear to see them experience pain. I do everything I can to keep my own cats from being frightened or harmed and it hurt to have to put Samantha through the surgery and all that went with it even when it is for her well being.
On the way home from the vet’s office, I began to think of a personal parallel. There are times I don’t understand why things happen the way they do in my own life. This is especially so when I have fervently prayed about something and the answer isn’t what I had hoped. I’m sure if cats knew how to pray, Samantha would have asked to not have the surgery. She would have prayed according to her immediate needs: no fright, no pain, and no confusion. But to have delayed the unpleasantness of surgery would have caused her greater suffering in the long run. I can see that; she cannot. When God answer my prayers differently than I pray, it is the same thing; He sees what I cannot. He knows what will be best for me in the long run, and for that I am most grateful. Grateful that He cares enough to sometimes withhold immediate blessings for ones of greater and more lasting value.
Scriptures that comfort when waiting for answers:
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)