It’s hard to live life from the couch. But I feel like that’s where The Roc and I have been stuck the past month.
That’s my dog The Roc on the left. He’s an old miniature pinscher I adopted a couple years ago. Last month he had surgery to remove an infected toe, a cyst above his eye, and a growth inside his mouth.
He’s had a rough time of recovering from surgery. We’ve been back to the vet nearly a dozen times since then. Just when one area seems to heal up a new problem arises.
My heart breaks for him. He’s not meant to be stuck on the couch with a cone on his head. He’s meant to explore and go on adventures. It’s hard to thrive when you can’t get away from the doctor’s office.
I can sympathize even more with Roc because of my time in and out of the doctor’s office lately. A few months back I was training for a half-marathon when I began experiencing pain in my left knee.
After multiple trips back and forth to the doctor, after X-rays and MRIs, after knee braces and new shoes, the pain still lingers and the doctors aren’t really sure what to do about it. I’m stuck on the couch, unable to run or train because of the constant ache in my knee.
Why would God do this? Why would God create creatures that live to explore and adventure and then cruelly confine them to the couch?
I think sometimes we get so caught up in our pursuits we don’t know when or how to take a break. And sometimes in those moments God forces a break upon us, whether we like it or not.
I don’t know how to respond when I’m forced to take a break. Patience is not my virtue. Whether in traffic, in line, on line – I hate to wait.
In those moments when I am forced to pause, all I can do is hold out hope:
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen in the morning, more than watchmen in the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)
In God’s word I hope for resolution. I hope for the pain in my knee to dissipate and to be able to run a half marathon by the end of the year. I hope for The Roc to be healed and to take him to dog parks and on long drives with his head hanging out the window. My soul waits for healing. I hope God knows what He’s doing.
We hate to wait because we think we know best. We have plans to do and places to be and God forbid anything get in our way.
But something always does. And when my plans fall apart I struggle. I wrestle with doubt and frustration and all these emotions which are consequences of living in a broken world.
And I recognize these aren’t big problems. Compared to the pains of those across the world, even compared to those in my community, my problems are petty and narrow.
And I look up to the creator of this world. The one whose plans are better than my own. Though life rarely works out how I want it to, it always works out far better than I could imagine when I wait for Him.
And I wait patiently on the couch, The Roc by my side – watchman and guard dog seeking the presence of the Savior. We look for lessons and pursue other plans as we wait to be restored. We trust in the plans we did not want. We doubt. We have faith. We praise. We curse.
And in His word – His promises of love, His confirmation of a plan – in His word we hope.
I’m wondering: How do you respond when God forces you to pause and wait? What is your soul waiting for?