This week our beloved cat Samson died after 17 years of blessing our family. He was a gift to our daughter Kelsey on her five-year birthday. We had expected his passing and it was hard to see him decline on the last leg of his journey. He had entertained us to no end with his antics and our house seems so empty without his presence. It is amazing how a cherished pet can become such a member of your family and how devastating it is when they leave us. What are some things to think about when you need comfort on the loss of a treasured pet?
Think about how God made animals in the creation story (Genesis 1). Then think about how some animals are so domesticated that they can become a member of a human family. What a gift from God this is. Between children and pets you have all the entertainment you need! Horses to ride, loyal dogs greeting you at the door, cats jumping up on your lap, etc. Companionship and unconditional love. It’s such a beautiful way God colors our world. (James 1:17) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above . . .
I love the story of the poor man and his lamb that the prophet Nathan shared with David: (2 Sam 12:3) But the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished; and it grew up together with him and with his children. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom; and it was like a daughter to him. Then Nathan shared how this lamb was taken from him. How you can feel the man’s painful loss and you see even David getting emotional.
Of course the big question is will we see our beloved pets in heaven? We must examine the Word of God on this. Consider this scripture: (Eccl 3:21) Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the animal, which goes down to the earth? In this verse we see the spirit of man going up to God for judgment and the spirit of the animal going down to the earth. So we can’t really say animals will be in heaven because they are not redeemed like people are. (Rev 5:9) And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
But here’s an encouraging thought for all animal lovers: Animals will be in the thousand-year reign of Christ! (Isa 65:25) The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox . . . And when Jesus comes to earth at the end of the Tribulation He will be riding on a white horse. (Rev 19:11) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. And we will be riding on steeds behind Him! (Rev 19:14) And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. So let us be thankful for God’s creation and the wonderful gifts He gives that fills our hearts with love and joy. We will miss you Samson!