Not only was Ruby cute and had a way to make any human being want to hold her and love on her, but she was also a fighter. Ruby went through a lot in her three little years. As a newborn, she and her siblings endured a move to a new house. If you know anything about hedgehogs, one thing you never do is disturb a momma and her babies. Unfortunately, the timing of their birth and moving day inconveniently coincided. Momma got nervous the first night in our new home and decided to carry around the runt of the litter…which happened to be Ruby. For what seemed like hours Ruby’s little body dangled from her mom’s mouth as she nervously attempted to adjust to the new environment. Fortunately, this episode ended and life went on as normal.
Because Ruby had dazzled us with her charm, we spoiled her over the years. But it wasn’t just her cute walk, adorable mannerisms, and likeable personality. It was her endurance that impressed us from the beginning. She patiently went through minor DIY surgery when she had an infected quill. Her response? Patience and trust…and a lick of “thank you” on the finger of her surgeon. She endured having her eye poked by a fellow hedgehog roommate…hence, the term “One Eyed Ruby”. Her response? Adjustment and trust.
She endured becoming ill with Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (a neurological disease common to some hedgies). Her response? More adjusting and trust…and a surprisingly strong will to live.
One Eyed Ruby adjusted to each obstacle that came her way. She did so with persistence, confidence, and a continual love for her humans. She loved to be held. She loved to listen to us talk to her. She loved to turn her igloo upside down and see how messy she could make her cage each morning…just to show us how strong and capable she still was. In fact, Ruby was so much of a survivor that I began to think she could possibly outlive all of our hedgehogs.
Unfortunately, our precious Ruby passed away recently. Although I am relieved that she no longer has to endure the hardships that come along with her disease, it is always difficult to lose a pet. It is especially difficult to see a fighter finally give in and surrender. However, Ruby’s character and will to not just survive, but to live an abundant life, taught me so much over the past several years.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”- Romans 15:4
So much rich information lies in this one scripture. But let us focus on one point in particular. The “endurance taught in the Scriptures” can be found in numerous places. Take a look at Romans 5:3, Hebrews 10:36, or James 1:2-3. What about Revelation 2:3 or Romans 12:12? Need I even mention Hebrews 12:1 or running the race so as to get the prize as mentioned in 1 Corinthians 9:24? I think you get my point. Endurance is not just recommended, it is necessary.
How is it that you continue to care for that elderly parent? How do you make yourself tromp into that difficult work environment every morning? That “terrible twos” toddler that makes the “strong willed child” seem like the tooth fairy? Endurance, my friend. You have it and you may not even know it.
For those times when finishing the race seems an impossible task. When the hardship overwhelms you and giving in seems the next logical step… What then?
I dare not minimize the pain or the difficult situation anyone may encounter. But I also cannot minimize the power of the word of God and the hope that is available for all who seek.
“…the endurance taught in the Scriptures”…”the encouragement they provide”…
Quite possibly the very thing you need in your valley is simply the hope available in the living word of God. Cry out to Him as He calls out to you. Let Him quiet your soul as you breathe in the words written on those thin delicate pages of your bible. Enduring and finishing your race is only possible when you communicate with your Savior.
Precious One Eyed Ruby persevered to the end of her race. Won’t you continue to run yours?