Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Here’s the second thing I learned about God from Marty.

Marty had to have some minor surgery a few months back. Now, dogs are notorious for trying to pull out their stitches – so when we picked up Marty, he had a plastic cone on his head. You have seen these before – dogs wear them sometimes after a flea treatment.

They call them Elizabethan collars!

I guess because they kinda look like the old collars people used to wear in Shakespeare’s time – (can you imagine anything more humiliating to a dog?)

The “cone of pain” as I like to refer to it, is plastic, it’s stiff, and it’s cumbersome.

It magnifies everything a dog hears, it interferes with their peripheral vision, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s rather disturbing to a dog’s normal life. Many dogs are very stressed out by having to wear this cone.

Marty had to wear his for TEN DAYS!!

Do you know that Marty NEVER complained about that cone?!

He accepted it and learned to adapt to it. He figured out a way to reach his bowls and eat and drink with it on. He learned how to negotiate the room, and furniture, with it on. Yes, he banged into things (including us!) – but he never let it get him down.

He was still the same sweet dog, who continually wagged his tail!

Once in a while, my son would take the cone off to give Marty a little break from it. But when it was time for it to go back on, Marty would wag his tail, and put his head through the opening, knowing that my son had a good reason for placing this hardship on him.

Again, this gave me such a clear picture of how we should look at suffering.

God allows suffering in our lives – we often don’t know the reason why. But, we DO know our Master, and we can trust Him in times of hardship.

1 Peter 5:7, 10: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you…In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”

Yes, we can rest in God through suffering, trusting His love, and KNOW that HE knows the reason for it – we can be assured that He has a purpose for ita purpose that is GOOD.

Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Accept suffering.

Subject yourself to God’s wisdom, and trust that He is working everything to a GOOD purpose. Count suffering as joy.

“…when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” (James 1:2, 3)

Life brings many kinds of “CONES” to endure - what's yours?

BLOG = “Blessedly Leaning On God!”


  1. Hi Sharon,

    I couldn't identify more with any post I've read. During the past fourteen months, I've had two surgeries, a layoff, and a crisis of faith and marriage (not in this order).

    During the past seven months God has been showing me that these experiences were necessary for me to grow spiritually and as a person. I have begun to realize that in spite of me, I needed to draw closer to the Lord.

    I'm so appreciative of who God is and what He means in my life. I needed grace and God gave it to me. Although it was undeserved, He extended grace to me just because He loves and cares about me. I am at a loss to comprehend the measure of God's love and grace; but I wholeheartedly welcome and accept it.

    Blessings and peace.


  2. I love this. As I have matured, I have grown to be more like Marty. I guess practice makes perfect. Since I still have a long way to go, I expect God will give me more perfecting practice.

    I wouldn't have chosen some of the things we've gone through, but I can say with complete honesty that I am glad to have endured them.

  3. My life and the storms in it have molded me into the person I am today. GOD has used each of them for my good.

  4. You are so right that animals just seem to adapt to their circumstances and rarely complain! I love this post! We can learn so much from animals.

  5. we call the cone the cone of shame (LOL) since the dogs I have known that had to wear them because they tended to play with their stitches; poor Marty with his surgery and the cone experience. But again another great analogy with patiently enduring what he had to go through and equating it with us patiently enduring things we are suffering from and just trust in the Lord, like you said, since he really knows best and sees the big picture.

    Personally right now we are in a very quiet season with not too many problems but we had a wild 8 years awhile back with some pretty serious kid problems. It was only by the grace of God that we survived it all and everyone is still alive and not in jail :)

    looking forward to part 3 of Marty's story :)


  6. Good evening, everyone!

    MTJ - I think I'm going to give you the honorary "cone of pain" for the last 14 months of your life - WOW! You have been tested, my friend. But, what would we do without our God? I, too, am grateful for his grace.

    Debbie - I'm afraid I still have a long way to go to be like Marty. I still really struggle through my struggles. Thanks for your good words. Your faith inspires me.

    Andrea - I really liked how you used the word "mold" - it reminded me of the example of us being clay in the Potter's Hand. Yes, may God continue to "shape" me into a person who reflects Him.

    Alisa - I can't tell you how much it blesses me to have Marty in my life. I know that God brought him to our family for a reason. He truly is a furry ambassador for God!

    Betty - I like "cone of shame!" Yes, I'm afraid Marty is one of those dogs! I can't tell you how many things he managed to swallow when he was a puppy. Being a hound, he is all about his "nose" - and if it smelled interesting, in his mouth it went!! Stitches were a real temptation! I'm glad that your family made it through a "wilderness" season - may God continue to bless you with His peace.

    Looking forward to tomorrow's installment...


  7. Hi Sharon -

    Yes, we must suffer with Christ in order to reign with Christ. It is for our profit that we may be partakers of His holiness. We are told to count it all joy! To GOD be the glory.

    Marty sounds like a very precious and special dog. Actually, he impresses me as being anointed!


"So [I] have been greatly encouraged in the midst of [my] troubles and suffering, dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith. It gives [me] new life to know that you are standing firm in the Lord. How [I] thank God for you!" (1 Thessalonians 3:7-9)

Thanks for your comments - it is such a joy to be sharing my journey with friends like YOU!

(NOTE: Anonymous comments will be removed. Thank you for understanding.)