The Unexpected

Friday, January 31, 2020
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Listen while you read: "Have You Any Room For Jesus"1 (Lyrics)

James 4:13-14 – Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (NIV)

As I lifted Hoss, my eleven-year-old standard wire-haired dachshund onto the bed, I noticed that he was quite bloated. Mmm, I wonder what he's been eating outside, was my first thought. Then, turning out the light, we all settled down to sleep.

During the night, I awoke and put on the bedside lamp to check if Hoss was any better. He wasn't. In fact, he seemed worse. Lifting his upper lip, I checked his gum colour and was not impressed. They were very pale.

At four a.m., I arose and felt the need to get showered and dressed, and to complete both inside and outside chores before calling the vet at six.

At six a.m. I made the call. After I filled in the vet on Hoss's condition, she asked if I could bring him in. I already had my truck running and was prepared for the two-hour journey. Loading Hoss up, I drove off into the darkness. Little did I know how dark the trip would end up being.

Two-and-a-half hours later, I stood looking at an ultrasound picture that revealed a huge blood tumour on Hoss's liver which had ruptured and was bleeding into his abdomen. Horrified by this totally unexpected revelation, I also knew that there was only one solution to the problem.

After a tearful goodbye to my beloved friend, I headed back out into the darkness for the long drive home. The vet had explained that the tumour was a very slow-growing type and that there are normally no symptoms whatsoever, until it ruptures and bleeds out. There was nothing anyone could have done.

As I considered this diagnosis and the end result, I was very thankful. I was thankful that Hoss had been running about happy and carefree up until the last twelve hours of his life. I was thankful that God had given me the wisdom to get up and get moving that morning and to get him up to the vet when I did. He was uncomfortable, but not yet in pain. That would have come in agony if I had waited. I was thankful for a kind and compassionate veterinarian who had acted with skill and kindness. And I was thankful for all the years that I had shared with a unique character of a canine who had changed my life for the better.

Once again, I also considered how when we go to bed at night or wake up in the morning, we never know what unexpected happenings may come our way. So, it is always best to live our lives in such a way so as not to regret the decisions that we make from day to day.

It is always best to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, and not to lean upon our own reasoning, but in all our ways to acknowledge Him, that He might direct our paths. For indeed, each of us is but as a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes only too soon.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that though we are in many ways but a vanishing mist, when we trust in You each and every day, we can also know that when our time comes to fly away from this world, just as Hoss left me with good and indelible memories, the lives that we have lived will also leave a marvellous testimony to others of Your loving kindness and mercy. May it be the kind of testimony that not only gives our life meaning now and for eternity but also brings glory to Your kingdom. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <>
Tawatinaw, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    A big AMEN to that!

    Thank You! Blessings.

    Beautiful truths. Thank you very much.

    I was sorry to hear about Hoss, Lynne. You handled it with such grace and trust in God. A lesson to us all. Blessings!

    Thanks, Lynne. This is so true. Last week, an RVer down the street walked out of his rig and died…no warning, no illness. We just don’t know!

    Lynne, It’s not easy losing a beloved “Hoss”.
    Thank you for your devotionals. You certainly touch lives in a way that is unique and long lasting. Thought and prayers; and be assured our Lord heals the broken hearted.

    Oh Lynne, sending hugs and prayers winging to Heaven for you. Yes, we do become deeply attached to our furry friends and miss them so much when they must cross the “rainbow bridge.” Praying that when you’re ready, another furry friend will come your way. Blessings.

    Oh Lynne, how sad it is to lose such a friendly and faithful presence in our lives. Bless you for the wonderful loving care you gave little Hoss.
    What perfect analogies for our own lives!! Thank you for sharing your loss and your loving Christian “take” on life’s ‘curve balls’.

    Dear Lynne,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I never knew how much of a hole a pet dog can leave in one’s heart until we lost Fletcher three years ago. Sharing your story took great courage and I hope that the memories of Hoss will eventually bring thoughts of happiness, joy and peace. In the meantime, you are in my prayers.

    Thank you once more Lynne for a strong, good message. I am very sorry your dear friend and companion has died. I feel certain he enjoyed all his days with you. Our pets are a great blessing, my little dog walks me daily and I am certain that is keeping me healthy as I know I would not willingly be out walking left to myself. Again, you have given us a strong analogy!

    As a Catholic, we often connect with our family who have gone before us (IE: St. Francis of Assisi, who was well known for his love of God’s creatures, the animals).
    I’m confident that your love for your pet Hoss, will be rewarded to you.
    Thanks for sharing such a loving story, and of course, relating it to our Love for God and His love for us.

    Dear Lynne,
    So sorry to hear that your dog Hoss had to be euthanized. My sincere sympathies to you. Pets become a true family member and losing them is heartbreaking, but we don’t want them to suffer unnecessarily either so must accept the best decision for their situation. Your closing prayer today is so very meaningful and reassuring. Our Lord’s grace and mercy is never ending. Again, thank you for the in-depth feelings of your writings.
    Blessings and caring thoughts,

    So sorry for your loss, Lynne. It is so difficult losing a longtime pet and friend. I keep hearing and reading that word trust. There is nothing better than to trust in the Lord and be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
    I echo your prayer. Blessings.
    I thought you might like this quote from Erma Bombeck
    “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say “I used everything You gave me.”

    Thank you for sharing about Hoss. It really resonated with my heart as I remember when we had to put down our last dog, who for us like all our puppies was a member of the family. It is never easy to say good-bye. I have three urns in our house with their ashes in so they can be buried with me when my time comes. Hopefully that will be many years from now, but we never know the day or the hour when the Lord will call us home all we can do is as one of my former parishioners said she was prayed up, paid up and ready to go up. The Lord called her home many years ago. We are people of the Word and of Prayer always looking unto Jesus. Your devotional has deep spiritual truth and meaning for me and I believe for many others as well.
    God Bless you now and always.

    What a touching story. I have lost 2 wonderful cats this year. I thank God for sending them in to my life. He cares for them as he does for us.
    You were guided to do what you did.
    There are those who say they will be waiting for us when we arrive in heaven.
    Praise God.

    Dear Lynne,
    I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Hoss. My husband and I too have lost loving dogs and it is so hard to say good-bye. I am sure Hoss had a loving life with you.
    I also enjoy your daily Devotionals very much. Thank you for sharing your life and stories of the animals you care for.
    Many blessings to you.

    Lynne Dear, I always look forward to your devotions, and since I never look to the end to see who is writing, I was surprised as I saw who it was from. When our precious pet had to go to sleep for the last time, the children at home didn’t know what was happening. I had to take him in and make that final decision and it was painful. We couldn’t eat dinner as we all felt such sadness. Finally we started to talk about the many great times we had with him, etc. Before we knew it, we were eating and laughing. That was many years ago and to this day when we’re together we sometimes talk about those happy fun times. How important it is that what and how we live our lives will leave the best of memories and testimony to many.
    How I pray that, with the help and guidance from the Lord, that my life will be a blessed testimony. I am one who, over 90, still loves to laugh and make others laugh, and get into mischief!! What I have heard for years is — here comes trouble!! I think that the Lord has often used my joy to bring much joy to others. Thank you so much for your gifted writings. God bless you.

    I have just lost my dog, my best friend, and I am heartbroken. He was over 14 yrs. and had been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease recently. He had various tests. He did not respond to treatment and was losing weight. It then transpired very quickly that he became very ill and sick and we had to make the heartbreaking but humane decision to let him go.
    I feel so bereft. I did not see this coming.

    So well told and what a fitting tribute to a wonderful, faithful little companion! How I LOVE your writing about these little lives you have shared. What a blessing each of them have been.

    Dear Lynne,
    I’m sorry for you in the loss of your dog.
    I pray that God will fill your life with other joys, as you fill us with the joys of your devotionals.
    Praying with you.

    Thanks Lynne, as usual, a very good devotion for me.

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