Why do our pets die so young? Why do they live such short lives? What does God want us to learn from the life and death of our pets? Let’s talk about it on this episode of Between You And Me with Michael T.
Why Do The Good Pets Die Young?
A few weeks ago, on a Sunday morning, my family was getting ready to step out the door and go to assemble with the saints (most folk call that “going to church”). We have 6 people in our family – the youngest being 19 months old – so it’s no small feat to get this group out the door on time. But just as we were leaving we received a call from my mother that one of her “precious boys” – one of her two cats was run over by a car.
My wife is a veterinary technician. She works in emergency clinics. So my parents brought him over for my wife to look at. My mom wouldn’t come in the house to see him because she was too distraught. I stayed outside with her and tried to offer comfort. My dad was inside with my wife as she looked the cat over. She had no choice but to rush him up to the clinic. It was a traumatic experience. There was much weeping and wailing over this wonderful little animal. And he didn’t make it.
Now that was an accident. But had he lived to be a ripe old age he would have maybe 15, 16, 17 years. And if you are a fancier of large breed dogs like the Golden Retriever – probably the most kind, loyal, gentle, loving dog ever made – you will enjoy their companionship for about 10 years. 12 if you are really blessed. And then what? Well, you are going to mourn the passing of a friend; a family member. Why is it this way? Why is it that the animals that we build close relationships with live short lives yet animals like the desert tortoise can live up to 100 years. I’ve had desert tortoises and I’m here to break the news to you: they’re a hard animal to cuddle with.
Animals And The Bible
What does the Bible have to say about animals? A lot. But two passages that stick out in my mind right now are in the book of Proverbs and the book of the Exodus.
- Proverbs 12:10 says that the person who is right with God has, and shows, concern for the life of their animals.
- Exodus 23:4 – the Israelites were told to care for the animals of even their enemies.
God loves animals. Their care is important to him. And he has given us the ability to have wonderful relationships with animals that benefit us and them. So then, why do these really awesome pets that we love live such short lives?
Could It Be A Blessing From God?
In Ecclesiastes 7 the writer says that “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.”
Why? Because death reminds us that this life ends. And as much as we love our animals, under normal circumstances, we would rather lose a beloved pet than a mother or father; a brother or sister; a child. The loss of a pet hurts. It’s supposed to! I could tell you story after story of big, tough, burly men weeping openly in front of my wife as she tells them that their pet – their friend – isn’t going to make it. This life is temporary. We are longing for a place where there will be no more sadness. And we’ve been promised that through the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Let’s thank God for the time that we have with all our cherished pets. And also thank him when we mourn their passing.
QUESTION: What can we learn about love and life from our pets? Let us know in the comments below.
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