TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:2-3 NKJV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• If you’ve read My Grace-Full Life for a while, you’ve likely heard about my dog, Beth. She’s a 14-year-old black Labrador. We adopted her when she was three as a 40th birthday gift for my husband, but she became my girl. And I crazy love her. Sweetest and most gentle girl… unfortunately, I’m bracing myself for the inevitable as her arthritis is taking a huge toll on her mobility. She has it in both ends, and since our house requires stairs for the two main entry points, Wayne and I now have a system… Every morning, I run downstairs to go through the basement to unlock the backyard gate, and Wayne carries her down the stairs and walks her to the backyard. On the mornings when he can’t carry her down, I take her, but since I can’t pick her up, I have to sit on the top step of the porch, drag Beth across my lap, and scootch down one step at a time until we’re at the bottom (no, I don’t care what the neighbors think, but Beth finds it a bit embarrassing). It’s our new morning norm. Beth spends the days in the basement now until it’s time to climb the stairs to go to bed. And even that is becoming a challenge.
As I’ve reflected on the care of a senior pet, I have started thinking about animals and heaven. Again. I do this every time I have a pet near the end of its life. The Bible doesn’t specifically address what happens to animals that have died. I personally believe that God didn’t make them to throw them away, but I know animals are lesser creatures than we are.
God didn’t make animals in His image; we were given that privilege. And part of that privilege includes the dominion He gave us over them (Genesis 1:26). Just as God has authority over us, He has given us the authority over animals. And that’s a responsibility to take seriously. Pet or not… domesticated or not… animals should never be abused or mistreated.
Whatever happens with animals when they die, what I trust is this: God’s plan is better than mine. I want to believe my pets go to heaven… if they do, my mansion that Jesus is preparing for me is going to need a lot of litter boxes (surely they will be self-cleaning in heaven) and a wide backyard.
But the greatest miracle of heaven won’t be whether or not all my past pets are there — it will be the fact that I will be there. Because I don’t deserve heaven. Neither do you. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And that’s us… We are sinners and it’s through Jesus’ incredible love — a love willing to endure the cross in our place — and through God’s grace that we have eternal life when we place our trust in Jesus Christ. It’s no coincidence that Jesus was a carpenter — He said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2b-3). He’s preparing my home, and while my finite brain hopes my pets are waiting on me, I know that whenever I get there, I’ll be in total agreement with whatever God has decided about the matter.
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His gift that enables you to have the promise of heaven. And if you have pets, thank God for the joy they bring and the honor of caring for them — just as He provides for you and cares for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and trust in the known and the unknown, being confident that His plan is always better than your own.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the NKJV translation.