We Weren’t Made to Experience Death

The indisputable truth, that we weren’t made to experience death, hit me squarely between the eyes this weekend.

Our 15-year-old toy poodle, Barnabas – his friends called him Barney, went home to be with the Lord yesterday. Well.…… that’s what I think. Besides, everyone knows that “All Dogs Go to Heaven”!

This day was packed with lessons.

When God created us, we lived in perfect harmony with Him and all of nature. The plan was to experience the freedom of walking and talking with God and knowing Him and all that he created – with a deep intimacy. One that would last an eternity. That was God’s desire for His greatest work of art. When sin entered in and we chose to walk the path toward the knowledge of good AND evil, everything changed. We began to die.

God, in His infinite wisdom, decided that living in this state forever would be a curse we just couldn’t handle. All that he created was given finite status. But, you know, we were never meant to experience death in this way. The pain of losing a loved one, even a toy poodle, has a sting that’s unimaginable.

We named him Barnabas when our now 34-year-old daughter went off to college. He was our
“son of encouragement”.  He brought brightness to our day. The little guy was amazing. I trained him to run and jump into my arms. It was our special trick. He would fully trust me. I never missed. Flying through the air with the greatest of ease. And man, could he jump. He traded in the jumping for a little lick on the leg in his later years. Loving me unconditionally. Every time I’d walk in the door it was as if I left for weeks. The same way God greets me every morning to face another day on planet earth. After all dog spelled backwards, right?

I missed the pitter-patter of his little feet on the hardwood floor this morning. The way he came over to me after his meal, while I made my protein drink, and waited for those two pieces of banana – guaranteed to top off his taste buds. This morning Tucker (our Golden Retriever) got Barney’s 2 pieces – and will from now on. In honor of Bubby – his nickname.

He’d lay in his little donut bed next to my desk and sleep away the morning, waiting for our next encounter, which usually entailed a trip outside and as many hugs as he could stand. Than back to his nap. You do that when you’re 15 dog years old. Nod off at will. Completely deserving of his well-earned retirement.

This day, I mourn the passing of my special 4-legged friend. Realizing once more, that we weren’t created to experience death. Someday, when all things become new, he will run and jump again. Into my arms. And boy, what a reunion it’ll be.

In God’s infinite wisdom, He provide a healer. A Savior so that death has no sting. A redeemer so we don’t have to walk out eternity in this broken, fallen state. We were created for life. Jesus came so we could have New life – in Him.

With my hurting heart this day – God has comforted me and is watching over me. Loved unconditionally, just like you. Just like Barney.

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