Saying Goodbye to “man’s best friend’ is never easy.
Sugar, our long-haired dachshund, was 13 years old when she passed away the other day. Our daughter took it hardest, since she and Sugar had a beautiful symbiotic friendship and closeness that allowed them to communicate without words being spoken.
I can relate as my friendships with dogs in my younger years were quite special as well. Pets can fill a void in fulfilling our companionship needs at any age.
We adopted Sugar from our local Humane Society on Feb. 14, 2009. She took her last breath early the morning of June 19, 2020. Faith was able to hold and caress and comfort her as she passed from this life into whatever awaits on the other side.
Now that’s a question that I feel merits some dialogue. Where do animals go after they leave this planet? I can’t imagine them going to some dark place where they would be tormented.
According to God’s Word, animals were formed in a different manner than mankind, but they were still formed by our Creator. Man and woman were created in God’s image, which means that we are unique having the attributes of God.
Going back to Genesis 2:15-17 we’re told, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.’”
As we all know, Adam and Eve both succumbed to the temptation of eating from the tree in the middle of the garden, which brought all future generations face-to-face with our sin nature. The natural man has been dealing with sinful desires ever since. Henceforth, we have the freedom to choose between good and evil.
In that respect, we are quite different than animals. Generally, dogs in particular have a sweet nature that makes them deserving of the term “man’s best friend” as far as I’m concerned.
So, we know from Scripture that mankind has a choice to spend an eternity in Heaven with their Creator or deny Christ and be totally void of any contact with God once we take our last breath here on earth. That’s our individual choice.
Dogs and other animals have no choice in the matter. Here’s my personal conclusion on their destination after death. They will be in a better place and I can’t see why that place can’t be Heaven. I know that I’d love to have contact with all the animals, God’s creatures, that have blessed my life here on earth.
King David thoughtfully mentions both man and beast in Psalm 36:5-7: “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
Here’s a reasonable question for your consideration: What have the beasts of the field done to deserve damnation?
I believe that all animals get a free pass into both Heaven and the New Earth. Mankind, does not automatically get in, since our sin keeps us from entering God’s presence except for the work of Christ on the cross. We must take a leap of faith and accept His wonderful gift and ask His forgiveness for the sins that we all commit.
Whether it be sins of commission or omission, we all need His forgiveness in order to be in His presence once we take our final breath. Please consider joining the multitudes who trust in Christ enjoying God’s presence along with the animals that have been precious to us in our days here on earth.They will certainly be there waiting for us!
Passages to Ponder
— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.