After a few days of researching the disease online and hoping for a shred of good news and finding none, I made the appointment for Bella to be seen by the pet ophthalmologist, like our vet had requested we do. My husband and I prayed for a miracle and with a brave and hopeful heart I took her the next morning. At this point Bella had decided she absolutely disliked animal clinics (after having severe allergic reactions the past 2 years with routine vaccinations) so I sat with her in the waiting room while she fought with me to flee the scene. But finally, she calmed down after introducing herself to the dozen or so, all much older, dogs waiting to be seen for their eye conditions, and within minutes Bella had done what she does best, won all of the other pet owners over with her charm and wrinkly face.
Finally Bella and I met with the Doctor. Not expecting to hear any good news, I was mentally prepared for the diagnosis of how much time we had left with her eyes and what actions I needed to take. But instead, after examining both eyes thoroughly the Doctor proclaimed “She has cataracts in both eyes” I was absolutely shocked! “Really?” I asked “Yes” said the Doctor “I wasn’t expecting that either, but take a look, she has clearly visible cataracts” my heart was racing with enthusiasm. I knew what this meant! There was hope! I asked how far along her condition was and became overjoyed to hear that Bella still had fully functional eye sight and that her cataracts were still too early in the condition to be eligible for surgery but if, one day, it deteriorated to that level, surgery would be an option. I couldn’t wait to call Jordan! It was a miracle! Hope had been restored! A way out had been given! I left the Doctor feeling like Bella had been given a second chance.
It’s amazing, isn't it? If we had been given the news of cataracts first, we would have felt frustrated perhaps or upset, even devastated that our beloved dog had come down with a condition that needed to be monitored and one day we’d most likely need to pay for an expensive surgery with lots of follow up care and no guarantees. But receiving the worst news first, that our dog was going blind from an incurable disease and being faced with no hope, no cure and no way out. To hear the news that yes there was a condition but yes, there was a way out and yes, there was hope! It wasn’t going to be as easy as if she had been born without this inherited disease, and one-day it might be more costly than we had ever imagined, but there was a way around this disease! And in a way this ‘not so perfect’ news had become the best news we ever could have heard (other than “there is absolutely nothing wrong with her”).
It immediately reminded me of our life as human beings in a fallen world. We have been born into a death sentence with no way out, no hope and no cure. The future is bleak, sad and depressing.. but then we discover hope, and a way out- His name is Jesus! The hope of the world. The cure, given to all. And suddenly we have reason to rejoice! Yes, it might be a difficult road filled with unexpected turns, disappointments, heartaches and sacrifices beyond what we feel capable of and the cost might seem greater than we had imagined at times … but we have a cure! And we only need to believe to receive it! Isn’t it amazing how much more we rejoice when we have seen how dark the road of no hope is? Sometimes, when life in our Christian walk becomes unbearable it is good to remember what life with no hope feels like. This life might be tough at times but there is a way that leads to eternity, and Jesus is that way! Earthly toil is a small price to pay for a forever with our Savior, The Creator of the Universe.
- Naomi Striemer