Max seemed to sense my illness. The moment I walked in the door, he became my shadow, following me from room to room and collapsing into bed beside me. I slept for several hours, never even moving until I heard the door open and my husband enter.
“Aren’t you feeling good,” he whispered, smoothing the hair from my forehead.
“Nope,” I rasped.
“Can I get you anything?”
“Nope.” My eyes drifted closed.
He kissed my cheek. “C’mon, Max,” I heard him whisper. Max never moved. “Max, c’mon. Leave Mommy alone.”
Beside me, Max lifted his head, but refused to budge.
“It’s okay, he can stay,” I said. After the door quietly closed, I flipped onto my side to look at Max. He was wide awake, staring at me with his big brown eyes. I think I saw concern in those depths, and undying devotion. I poked my hand out from under the covers to touch his nose.
“Thanks for sticking by me, Max,” I whispered.
He gave a soft sigh, content to lie beside me until I felt better, and sharing in my misery for those few hours. Suddenly, I understood what a gift it is that God has promised to never leave or forsake me. I forget, sometimes, that He sees me when I hurt, and comes alongside me when I despair. In all situations, He sticks closer than a brother.
Proverbs 18:20-24 (New International Version)
20 From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.
21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
23 A poor man pleads for mercy, but a rich man answers harshly.
24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.