My house bunny, Dusty, is allowed to run all over the house. We give him complete freedom, because he doesn't do bad things like rip out carpet or eat upholstery. He enjoys and expects this freedom.
When he has to be penned up, he lets us know in his own wordless way that he is not pleased. Dusty's behavior deteriorates and he throws himself against the screen of the pen. He thumps at us. He growls (yes, they can growl). He hides. He tries to escape. This guy is angry. Can rabbits glare? Oh, you bet they can. Our placid little furry guy hates us.
We do not put him in his room to punish him. Dusty is ill and needs medication three to four times a day. He also hates being held. He loves to have us sit beside him on the floor and pet him. But, when cradled safely in our arms, he struggles mightily to get away.
He is very independent (more so than a cat!) and takes great exception to us touching him if he hasn't first given his okay. After days of trying to escape confinement to one room, our bunny hides way back under a table and behind some boxes. He quits eating for a bit--the rebel! Yet, his therapy must continue.
We know how hard it is for him to go through this trial. He doesn't understand and it is impossible to communicate with him. We just have to do what is best for him, whether or not he understands. He is in pain and to relieve that pain, we have to inflict (in his mind) some more misery on him.
Dusty does not know when or how this will end. He does not know that without this medicine, he would not survive. He sees only the trial he is going through. We know when and how the trial will end. He does not understand, and he would not understand if we told him.
As the day nears for him to be released, we get excited thinking of how happy he will be. Finally, deliverance comes and he does not even realize he is free again. Dusty is too busy hiding to notice that the screen across the doorway that was his prison cage is gone.
When it occurs to him he is free, he runs out and then promptly hides under the couch. He does not trust us yet. The trial was too intense. He is still afraid. All during this time, I see a parallel to my relationship with God, especially when I'm going through difficult times.
I struggle against the enforced cage of my circumstances.
It angers and frustrates me. I stamp and shout--maybe not outwardly, but inwardly. I mope and cry. I hide myself away and throw a pity-party. Through various means, I show God my displeasure. I try to melt His heart with my tears.
I do not know when my trial will end, but He does. I do not understand why I have to go through certain problems, but He does. He knows when the way I am following will lead to death and destruction and sometimes, He steps in and sidelines me, in order to save me.
He surely is filled with joy when He sees the trial coming to an end. Yet, when it does, I remain frightened and unsure for a while.
God's grace is so wonderful. His wisdom is unmatched. He knows just what trials to send and how long I need them to grow healthy and strong. He never allows them to last one moment longer than necessary. I can trust Him, even when I don't understand, for He knows what's best for me.
By Crystal J. Ortmann