I had never experienced it before. No pet of mine has had to wear one—the cone of shame, that is—until recently.
I’d noticed a scab under my cat’s foreleg, so I took him to the vet.
They found another cut on the other side of his chest. The two cuts required stitches; thus a cone was needed to keep him from chewing on the stitches.
As a human being, I comprehend why a cone is needed for a couple of weeks. But my cat most definitely does not understand.
He hates the cone.
He can’t use his whiskers to calculate distances, so he crashes into things. He tries to groom but ends up licking the cone.
He scratches at it constantly. He shakes his head repeatedly.
He’s needy and clingy. He’s miserable.
But no matter how desperate he feels or how much he yowls and pleads, I won’t take the cone off. Not until the stitches come out.
Can you see where this is going?
I’ve had seasons of life when I am the cat in the cone.
Circumstances hit, and I don’t understand what just happened. I am disoriented. My perspective is off. I feel hemmed in, limited, uncomfortable.
Worse, I have no idea why this happened or how long it might last. Just as my cat is unaware of his stitches, I can’t see the big picture.
All I know is I want to make it stop. I want things to go back to “normal,” whatever that is.
I want freedom and comfort, not restriction and constraint.
So I yowl and complain and beg—but God doesn’t seem interested in removing the source of my distress.
Perhaps that’s you right now. If so, may I encourage you?
During times of difficulty, it helps to remember that God sees behind the scenes in a way we are unable to comprehend.
He is always after the greater good in any given situation, no matter how distressing it is at the time.
This is not life-coachy, “silver lining” talk.
This is the truth..
God is good. We are small, but he is bigger than our problems. He knows what he is doing, and his perspective is eternal.
“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” –Isaiah 55:8-9
It’s not the easy times that strengthen and refine our faith. It’s not the happy, comfortable seasons that bring us to deeper trust in God.
It’s the tough times.
During those times, God is at work. His discipline affirms the truth that we really are his children.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” –Hebrews 12:11
We may be most interested in getting out of a tight spot, but God is most interested in the bigger picture.
Rest assured, he has a good outcome planned in the long run.
If you’re in a tight place right now,, you have a couple of options:
You can kick and scream against circumstance, focusing on what’s hard. Or you can rest in God, trusting he is up to something good.
I hope and pray your “cone” comes off soon. In the meantime, keep hold of this truth:
Your pain is not pointless.