Monday, October 20, 2014


This post could be subtitled:

"A Beagle and Some Ear Drops."

In case you don't already know, my youngest son owns a beagle, Martymy beloved granddog.  And I'm doing some dog-sitting.  I love when I get a chance to watch him.  He and I are the chummiest cohorts, inseparable allies. We are the best of friends.

So, I'm feeding him and taking him for walks.  I'm snoozing next to him.  I'm petting him and playing with him and cuddling.  And, since he also happens to have an ear infection, I get to give him his medication.

You see, beagles tend to be susceptible to ear infections because they have such big, floppy ears.  And, because Marty also suffers from allergies, his ears are his Achilles' heel, so to speak.

So, the other night I'm preparing to give him his drops.  First of all, I must plop him on his side in order to get him into proper position for the application of the drops.

Somehow, he knows this.

I don't know how a 30-ish pound dog can suddenly turn his body into *Jupiter weight.*

(I googled this – an object, person, or small dog (!) would weigh 2.34 times more on Jupiter.  Hence, Marty's *Jupiter weight* is around 72 pounds. Of course, if you factor in his "stubborn dead weight" I'm figuring he weighs about a ton…just sayin').

OK, then there's "The Look" he gives me – or, more accurately "The Avoidance of The Look" that he executes.

He very slyly turns his eyes away from mine, as I tell him that I need to do his drops now.  He doesn't look at me, but I know he's heard.  I can almost hear his inner dialogue:

"Oh no you aren't.  You are not going to give me any drops.  You can't do it if I don't look at you…"

It's like he thinks he's invisible if he isn't looking at me!

Then, in a maneuver that would rival any football running back, he slowly extends one arm out against me in a stiff-arm move.  It's quite effective, and does indeed prolong the *plopping* process.

OK, finally plopped, I now try to push his head flat.

How on earth can a dog be so strong??

When he sets his mind to it, Marty is almost immovable!  When we go out on walks, when he stops to sniff something…


Dead in his tracks, low to the ground, with every muscle tensed to defy me.  I have literally been unable to tug him or move him.

We take our walks on a street where my son lives.  It's a busy street.  I often wonder what people think as they drive by.  One smallish woman tugging and pulling (unsuccessfully, mind you) on a retractable leash (let out to its full length) with a small dog at the other end who might as well be a mountain – not going anywhere!

Of course, I also wonder what they think when they see him pulling me along on our walks like a sled dog.

I can hear inside people's heads as they drive by:

"Well, I never.  Look at that lady running after her dog.  Looks like he's winning."

"Hey, see that woman?  She must be practicing for the Iditarod.  Wait, that’s not a husky, though, is it?"

"Mommy, aren't people supposed to walk their dogs instead of them walking their people?"


So, anyway, my point is this:

Marty is headstrong (with a very strong neck!), stubborn, and resistant.

But, the eardrops are needed, and I must prevail.

So we go through this little "dance."

I wrestle him into position.  I push his head down.  He raises it back up.  I push harder.  He looks the other way.  I push his head again.  He stiff-arms me.  I push yet again.  He pushes back harder and raises it again.  This goes on for a while, until finally Marty relents and keeps his head down.  He finally yields to my authority.

And then the drops go in rapidly and easily.

It's like Marty finally understands that these drops are needed, and he just stops fighting.

I think his trust in me finally kicks in, and he yields to what I know is best because he knows that I love him.

A God lesson?  Indeed!

So, there are three things I'm thinking about.

One, the issue of resistance.

Why do we do this?

OK, that's a bit of a rhetorical question.  For indeed, I KNOW why we do it!  We are prideful and ornery disciples, a sometimes stubborn and stiff-necked people.  We could be called "The Recalcitrant Redeemed."

It's in our nature (sinful nature, that is) to resist outside authority.  After all, isn't that the seed of the apple that caused the Fall?

We want our own way when we want it.

Which is usually right now.

So, we resist when life starts to go another way.  We rebel against circumstances that are not pleasing or comfortable.  We do not want to take godly testing lying down.  We are not inclined to roll over and let Him do what has to be done.

The *eardrops* of refinement are not fun.

Two, I'm thinking about the necessity of testing.

Yes, as much as I hate writing that, as much as I hate admitting that, I know this is true.


After all, I really don't think that any sort of progress can happen without toil, and struggle, and perseverance.

Athletes know this.  Musicians know this.  Artists know this.  Writers know this.

Parents know this.

Shaping takes effort – both on the part of the Potter and the clay.

It takes hard work to shape something beautiful out of the raw material of our humanness.  And it's difficult work to accept the refining fires.

God saves us, yes.

But He loves us too much to stop there.  He continues to do His work – the work of sanctification. 

Necessary work, but not always very enjoyable.

The *eardrops* of testing are necessary.

Finally, I'm thinking about what happens when I finally give in.

There comes a time when I can sense in Marty that the next time I push his head down, he won't resist.  I can't explain how I know, I can just tell.

It's something in his eyes, I think.  (Even if they're not looking at me…)

And why does he finally submit?

I think it's because he knows that I would NOT do this if it wasn't for his own good.

Is this not EXACTLY what happens in our walk with God?

He knows that we are not stronger than He is.  He knows what we need. He knows we're going to resist.  But He persists.

For He indeed knows what is best for us – what is necessary for our own good – provided by His perfect goodness.

After all the posturing, and the avoiding, and the stubborn resisting, I submit to Him.  I surrender to the greater knowledge that God has of what is good for me.  And then, in that moment when I finally yield, when I finally submit to His ministrations, I will be on my way to spiritual health.

In trust, I give my will over to Him.


Because I know He loves me.

The *eardrops* are what's best for me, and God administers them because He loves me.

Even if He has to wrestle me into the proper position to receive them!


Thanks, Marty, for once again teaching me some valuable insights about God.

And Lord, if You think I need some *eardrops* – please don't give up on me. Even if I don't plop down right away, even if I stiff-arm You, even if I try to look away and pretend You're not there.

Please do it anyway.

For I know that testing is not always fun, but I know that it's necessary and for my own good.  I trust You.  I know You love me.  So, help me stop resisting and help me yield to Your wisdom and Your will.

Even if I use my "Jupiter weight."

You're kidding, right?" 

"Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands." (Deuteronomy 8:2, NLT)

"For the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 13:3, ESV)

"Search me, O God, and know my heart!  Try me and know my thoughts!" (Psalm 139:23, ESV)

"For our present troubles are small and won't last very long.  Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!" 
(2 Corinthians 4:17, NLT)

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4, NASB)

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.  And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.  And this hope will not lead to disappointment.  For we know how dearly God loves us..." (Romans 5:3-5, NLT)

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT)

"And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?  He said, 'My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline, and don't give up when he corrects you.  For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.'  As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children." (Hebrews 12:5-7, NLT)

"For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed." (Hebrews 12:11-12, ESV)

"[For] we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28, ESV)

"...yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42, NIV)

What is the *test* that you resist the most? 

Linked with:


BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"


  1. Marty reminds me so much of my doxie, Oscar...I guess it must be the "hound" in them. Oscar gives me those same looks quite often. As always, your post is right on and I love the way you can turn the mundane, everyday experiences of life into a great lesson on His truth! You and Marty have a blessed day! :)

  2. Ha! Wonderful (hilarious and true) story with a rocking Jesus lesson. I have to admit-- I often have beagle-ish traits as well.

    I know I mention this every week, but each time I come by, I laugh, I experience a Godly ah-ha moment and I learn something new (Jupiter weight? I love the way your brain works.)

    You are the bestest.

  3. Hi Sharon! That photo of Marty looks like he is saying EXACTLY what you have in your quote under it. What an expressive dog!
    Love the idea of having to stay still for the medicine that will cure me, my baptism by grace. How I do wriggle sometimes. I think it's such a cross, but it's really a grace. I'll try to remember Marty as I undergo my trials and sorrows. Like him, I should come out healed in the end.

    You are a good grandma to that dog, he's a lucky fella :)

  4. Ooo-OW... WOW ... such great Lessons Marty (bow wow) ... I mean Sharon!

    First off, I'm glad that you're getting quality time with Marty, but really sorry about his ear infection. To me, I would think with those long ears that he'd have a guaranteed protection going on rather than the opposite. However, I love how you love him and care for him like any grandma would for her precious adorable beagle baby.

    Next, I laughed and smiled so frequently throughout this post until I got to the great lessons! Your words describe so well all his antics. I can envision each move and wrestle. Oh sense of humor is such a delight! It's a real JOY to see and read (maybe your word being JOY was for the JOY you bring others and coming to know that about yourself --- that you are such a JOY)(You sure your name isn't Sharon Joy?)

    Why does Marty's lessons and traits all seem to apply to me? (even having allergies in common). Yet I see that each of these meant to speak a sweet whisper to me about resistance, testing and God's final resolve for those Jupiter weight subjects needing some "drops" and wrestling to get the message through: because I know He loves us (me) and so "The *eardrops* are what's best for me, and God administers them because He loves me." Thinking what medicine or drops does God use on me? as He wrestles to get me into the surrender mode or position.

    Marty (who has his own blog---ah-hem but has not yet been developed) is indeed a wonderful source and example of wisdom and expression. Your sweet photo (with the rolled eyes) truly says exactly what you worded.

    So what test do I resist the most? (goes along with the above wondering) Perhaps letting others make their own choices and mistakes and pay their own consequences, where I am not orchestrating it all, or could it be ... or maybe this
    (well, as you can see I have more than one and not sure which one causes me to resist the most) I am after all a "stiff necked" sinner saved by Grace. Thank God! I dug my heels in quite alot as a teen and young adult. I was a real rebel child or strong willed. What broke me was my parents putting me in a psych ward (did I just announce that on public media?) 2 weeks one July that I will never forget the devastation and conflict. Everyone believed that I had a nervous break down. Not true. Just my rebellious ways finally caught up to me and broke me and might I add my parents' heart (and my spouse to be at the time). I'm sure I resisted like Marty the most at this time in my life---the culmination of years. {but enough of this story} Wonder why this stirred up that event in my life? Not at all a "eardrop" story, more like a bomb. And the testing (don't get me started, I'm sure this is already a very lengthy comment) :)

    Wish I had Marty's moves! and a grandma that loves him enough to care for him no matter how much the cost or trouble. I can so picture these walks. Your comments of what onlookers probably are saying was hilarious. Give that sweet beagle a BIG hug from me. Tell him we are buddies and I wish I had you closer to share in these moments. You're a great writer team! (ah-hem, still patiently waiting for Marty's Blog and fame apart from "Sharon Sharing God" because he's really got a lot of wisdom and capers to share).

    Love, Hugs and blessings,

  5. Your right.....testing is definitely an important time in our life and it starts when we are very young. With testing we grow however it is not always easy to go through those times. I like the way your mind thinks. Our Skye has allergies too. Also our daughters dog use to have ear allergy problems and was put on a special diet of Potato and Duck by Natural Balance. The problem has gone away!

  6. Hi Sharon, Right on the ball again (as they say) :)

  7. I love your analogies, Sharon! They are always so fun to read...and full of such truth! I don't want to have Jupiter weight when it comes to God. I pray that each day it gets easier and easier to take the drops!

  8. My daughter is doing some dog-sitting for me this week. And our dog also happens to have an ear infection thanks to allergies. We took her to vet Friday, and thankfully she put in some 14-day ear drops that dissolve as time goes on so we (well, I mean my daughter) don't have to do them daily. :)

    Resistance, the necessity of testing, finally giving in...yep, I relate to all of those things too! I want to submit earlier on....

    Hope Marty gets better soon.

  9. Marty is so cute! I can relate you trying to give him the ear drops, hubby has to sometimes do it here with Koda and Koda meets with that same resistance. Wouldn't it be neat if we realized sooner than later that it is better not to resist God and to allow him to do the work he wants in our lives, especially since we know his way is always the best way?


  10. I know exactly what you are talking about - exactly - sometimes you have to quit struggling - to get saved.

  11. I so relate, Sharon! How often we can act like a little child throwing a tantrum or a dog avoiding eye-contact when it comes to trials and testing... but God is so relentless in His love, so persistent in His grace, so limitless in His pursuit of our hearts, and I'm sooo thankful for that! I pray that I will learn to submit sooner. Oh, how I pray!

  12. What a great story, and I can certainly understand the resistance of a dog to get an ear treatment. I love the way you illustrated how we often react when God is trying to do something that will benefit us and we hedge with our heels dug in all the way. Thanks for sharing your delightful story with us here at "Tell Me a True Story."

  13. I don't know which test I resist the most since I tend to resist all of them!! Love the visual of you chasing Marty down the street! Thanks for the laugh and for sharing your insight with Testimony Tuesday.

  14. Ah he is so cute really! He reminds me of Biggles our familuy Daschund he does exactly the same! Thanks for the lesson Marty - we can learn so much from nature.

  15. Just love your granddog Marty....and your great thought on how God tests us and challenges us with our own resistance. I still am challenged by trust issues and know God continues to move me forward in this area....

  16. We used to have a beagle! And my GSP gives me the same look, especially when he knows he's done something wrong. "Who? Me?" he says with his eyes!

    So, I'm really taking your lesson to heart, Sharon. I'm being stubborn and hard-headed and I'm not surrendering. Today is as good a day as any to start.

  17. It takes a wise person to be able to be reminded of the sovereignty of our Father via their dog! Or their son's dog I should say. Excellent analogy, Sharon. I too struggle and fight against what I know is good for me sometimes. I might have more in common with Marty than I'm comfortable with...

  18. Thanks for the laugh and awesome lesson! I had to pause a bit at the first "Jupiter weight". LOL love it! I'm carrying away 'eardrops of refinement'. So thankful it doesn't all happen at once, yet somedays I wish they would drop just a bit faster. Blessings!

  19. I love this! I love when God shows us lessons through everyday events, especially our animals. So many golden nuggets in your blog today, Sharon.

  20. Oh, my...what a wonderful illustration of how I struggle with God and resist what is best! It reminds me of when we bought two chow puppies once. They were stubborn, little things, and we ended up taking the to obedience classes. One of the exercises we learned was to hold them in our palms on their backs UNTIL THEY STOPPED SQUIRMING!!! Can you imagine?? We were not to release them until they relaxed and came to the realization that they might as well give in or increase the amount of time that they would be held in this vulnerable, uncomfortable position. There finally came a time that they learned to trust us and relax and give in...that we were not going to drop them. Once this light bulb came on, life was much easier for them...and needless to say, for us, too. As always, I loved your words today, dear friend. Will you please email me? I need to share something with you, and I am just getting situated on a new laptop (my old one has seen better days), and somehow in the transition, I have lost your email address! Hope to hear from you soon. God bless you!

  21. love this post, with all its many spiritual applications, because we are a beagle family...starting in 1988 to today, we have had 4 beagles, we love them so and their sweet personalities...thank you for this great reminder! p.s. I'm also a COLEN :)

  22. Definitely similar themes with my post, Sharon! And it's so true. We resist and resist until we finally collapse in His arms and yield. It's not because He's bent on simply having His way, He's intent on bringing about His best in and for us. I need that reminder over and over. Thanks Sharon.

  23. Hi Sharon! Thanks for coming to my world. Now I have come to yours. :) I've also added you to my Feedly so I will get new posts. My wife had a beagle growing up and would love to have another but she wouldn't be the one to take care of him. I prefer a Samoyed or Husky so we have none. Besides, we have an 8 y/o grandson who is allergic to pet dander. Welcome to the world of the 60s. It is a beautiful world. I just turned 62 and my wife turns 64 in January.

  24. You always bless me. I love you.

  25. Awesome post, Sharon! I love how God uses our pets to speak to our hearts. And these three lessons he taught you through Marty are ones I need reminded of over and over. You have such a way with words, Sharon. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

  26. Love the lessons God teaches us through His delightful creations!


  27. Oh my goodness, this was as if talking about my wrestling with my Cocker Spaniel when I had to put in his drops. And I love that you used a simple common situation to express so clearly the issue of resisting God. Never thought of that.

  28. Great post! I just love how God can teach us these lessons through our pets. I have a 6 yr. old shih tzu who also has allergies and also gets a lot of ear infections so I can totally relate about the ear drops. Thank you so much for sharing.

  29. Aww what a sweet grand dog you have! Beagles are so cute! Our dog is part cocker spaniel and has ear issues too.
    Funny how many ways people are like dogs... :)

  30. This post had me rolling with laughter! What a dog! And what a gift you have with taking real life and applying the word of God to it. Great post!

  31. I do cat rescue and fully understand "Jupiter weight" affect. Thanks for laugh, but mainly, thanks for sharing the truth. Gail

  32. It is sooo good that God doesn't give up on us! And it's great that you are able to reflect on God's love for us from dogsitting!!! I think there are lots of valuable lessons we don't catch because we are not paying attention!! patsy

  33. Hi Sharon,
    I am your new follower. Your blog is great.
    I love animals!
    God bless you.
    Kind Regards,
    Poet Starry.


"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!

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