When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saved by the dog! (or Moosable Moments)

Last night, I was laying in bed and dozing off, when I received an urgent phone call from my son, Louis.  He was calling because his brother Adam was having seizures.  I told him to call 911 and stayed on the phone, pretty much powerless to help.  I tried to help him know what to do.  He tried to find the tester for Adam's blood.  Adam is diabetic and seizures are a sign of low blood sugar.  He could not find the tester.  Adam does not have a gluco gun which is a shot of glucose to bring up the blood sugar either, so the boys pretty much could only make sure that he did not inadvertantly hurt himself during the seizures. 
When the paramedics arrived, Adam's bloodsugar was 32.  That number is very low.  They were able to get the blood sugar up to 70, but not any higher.  They ended up taking him to the hospital for treatment and he was released after his blood sugar stablized. 
The really interesting part of the story I found out later from Louis.  My two sons live with another young man, Joey.  Both Louis and Joey had gone to bed for the night.  Joey was already asleep in his room, and Lou was getting ready for bed in his room.  Louis has an English Bull Mastiff named Moose.  He is a large dog who thinks I am a chew toy.  I guess he thinks Adam is another favorite toy. 
Anyway, Moose started barking and whinning and making lots of noise.  Lou and Joey both heard the noise and came out to investigate.  They found Adam collapsed on the couch having seizures.  Somehow, that crazy dog knew something was wrong and he barked until he got the boys' attention.  I think we owe that dog a few bones!  I know that if he would not have allerted anyone, Adam probably would not have survived through the night.  With a blood sugar of 32, his body would not have made it.  It would have shut down. 
Adam says that Moose only did that because Adam is his favorite chew toy and he wouldn't have had anyone else to chew on.  Imagine being saved just because a dog wants to chew on you!  Serously though, I wonder why Adam has such a hard time seeing that Heavenly Father is watching over him.  There have been several times in his life when he probably should have died, but he was saved by some kind of a miracle.  Yet, he persists in thinking "why me".  He doesn't see the results.  He only sees the trials.  How I wish that he would listen and feel the love that is his. 

Heavenly Father does not leave any of us alone.  If you remember the story of the tree of life in the Book of Mormon.  Lehi saw the faithful “pressing forward” to the tree of life, secured by “continually holding fast to the rod of iron.” (see 1 Ne. 15:23-24).  Nephi teaches us in that scripture story, that the iron rod is the word of God “Whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it,” Nephi declared, “would never perish, neither could the temptations and fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction” (1 Ne. 15:25).

In my studies, I have found that there are verses in the Bible where Christ is identified as the Word of God.  The one that comes immediately to mind is John 1:1. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God".  I do not think that the Word here refers to the Scriptures.  Rather, it refers to Jesus Christ himself.  In this light, Lehi and Nephi are teaching us that Christ is the iron rod that leads to the tree. What a difference it should make to us to know that amidst all of the “mists of darkness” in the world and the insults and mocking that come from the “great and spacious building”, we are not left to find our way alone! Our Savior is not merely pointing directions to us and expectiing us to find our own way.  As the iron rod, Jesus provides us the only way to our desired end and also our protection against the mists of darkness and the taunts from the people in the great and spacious building.
As you have read that familiar story in the Book of Mormon, did you notice that not one of those people make it to the Tree of Life without taking hold of the iron rod? You can't just walk along side of the rod.  You have to grasp it and hold it, in order to follow it to the tree of life.  It is not just a matter of taking a few more steps and pressing forward.  Not one of those people could do it all by themselves.  Not one made it on his own, no matter how hard he tried, no matter how much he knew, no matter how determined he was.  On the other hand, every single one of them that let go of the rod were lost.  The were either lost in the mists of darkness, drowned in the filthy river, or wind up in the great and spacious building with those who were mocking the people of God.
There have been many times in my life when I have tried to go to the "tree of life" by just struggling on my own.  I don’t think I was conscious of the fact that I was doing it, but it was like I just thought I could push through the mists of darkness and still make it by myself.  I forgot the instruction to "hold to the rod".  I didn't see the Savior reaching out to me and waiting for me to understand.

Now, when I think of the iron rod, I don’t just think of a narrow path and an iron-rod. I think of Him with outstretched hand.  I see Him reaching out to me and clasping my hand and LEADING me home to the tree.  Even if I am battered and bruised.  Even if I have lost my way temporarily, I just need to reach out for His hand and not let go. I don’t have to find my own way to the tree.  I just need to find my way to the rod, then reach up, take hold, and hang on. Only then is my pressing forward with “a steadfastness in Christ” and a “perfect brightness of hope” going to enable me to endure to the end (2 Ne. 31:20). Enduring to the end is taking hold of His rescuing hand, holding on tight, following where He guides us, and never, never letting go.

Someday, I hope my son, who has such a hard time accepting the fact that the Lord is mindful of him always, sees the hand of the Lord reaching out to him.  I hope and pray that he (Adam) reaches back and never, never, lets go.  May you all realize how very much you are loved!

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