Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2016

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/Aug 2016 • 42 M y dog Panda will eat any- thing. Animal, vegetable, mineral, doesn't mater. If she can get it in her mouth, it's fair game. Paper towels? Delicious! Bugs? A delicacy! Liter box treasures? Scrumptious! That's why I wasn't surprised Friday to come home to fnd cold medicine scatered across our liv- ing room foor. It was the kind that's packaged in plastic and foil where you have to punch each pill out indi- vidually. Or, if you're a dog, you can just chew them all at once. As far as I knew, Panda didn't have a cold, so I thought this might be a problem. To make maters worse, she'd mangled the package, so we couldn't tell how many pills she'd ac- tually eaten. Did I mention we were about to leave for vacation? That we'd packed our bags and been gone barely an hour to run some last minute errands? That it apparently takes less than an hour for a nosy dog to dig medicine out of your bag? But now I had a problem on my hands and the vacation would have to wait. I called the vet to fgure out my next move. He told me to give her peroxide to force her to vomit. In fact, I'd have to give it to her every fve to ten minutes until it worked. I started pray- ing for early results. We took her out in the back yard, and my wife held her while I poured peroxide in her mouth. Panda just looked at me with pathetic eyes as if to say, "Why? Why would you do this to me?" Fortunately, it worked, and it worked fast. She erupted like a furry volcano, emptied her stomach and then some. Every time I tried to console her, though, she shrank away from me, a look of betrayal on her face. She thought she could trust me, the guy who slips her chicken from his din- ner plate, but now I had done this terrible thing to her that she couldn't understand. I was no longer the fun guy, but the source of her misery and pain. So she ran from me. She hid. I started thinking about how some- times we go through this same process with God. We think of God as the nice guy, the kind father who slips us blessings under the table, but it's so easy to turn on Him when something bad happens in our lives. We may think, "Why God? Why would you do this me?" Yet, the reality is that God comes near to help us, not to hurt us. He is not the source of our misery and pain. He is the one who brings healing. Sometimes, like Panda, we get into our own messes, and God may lead us to do difcult things to get us to a beter place. He may prescribe medicine we don't like or understand. We may have to have an honest conversation we'd rather avoid or make changes in our life that won't be easy. But God didn't cause the problem. He's only trying to help. Other times, another person causes the mess or we fnd ourselves dealing with tough circumstances where no one's at fault. Bad things just happen, and we're left trying to pick up the pieces. Again, when God draws near to help, we may blame Him for the pain. Yet that doesn't stop God from coming. In the midst of our greatest tri- als, He is with us. He understands. The Bible describes Jesus as a "man of suf- fering and familiar with pain" (Isaiah 53:3 NIV). When it comes to anguish, Jesus has been there, done that, and He did it for you. He did it for me. We may not always understand what God's up to when life gets hard. We may not recognize His presence in our pain. But we can be assured that He is here and that He has come to help. • Everyday Adventures Jason Byerly is a writer, pastor, husband and dad who loves the quirky surprises God sends his way every day. You can catch up with Ja- son on his blog at www.jasonbyerly.com or on Twiter at www.twiter.com/jasondbyerly. Man's Best Friend But now I had a problem on my hands and the vacation would have to wait. b y J a s o n B y e r l y Check out the latest book from local author, Jason Byerly God's Big Adventure Covenant & Kingdom for Kids, Volume 1 Volume 2 coming later this year! Available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Weare3dm.com.

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