Wednesday, February 12, 2014

When will it end?

One of our dogs, Blackie, had been a part of our family for nearly 15 years, which when Penny and I thought about it, was 1/2 of our married life. Rachael and Matthew picked him out of a litter of puppies at an auction in Carlyle, IL. We were living in Ferrin at the time. I remember being asked if they could have a puppy (we already had a golden retriever at home by the name of Goldie). They would take care of him. You know the story. And being the softy that I am at times, I said yes. 

And I have to say that I am not sorry for that answer. Blackie came home with us and became a part of our family for the next 14 years. He gave us a lot of smiles, laughter, frustration and friendship. He had a bark that would go right through you (he learned that from Goldie). He loved to go for walks. He would lay in the sunshine in the middle of summer when we thought it would be too hot to lay in the sun and didn't like the cold. The snow would always cause problems with his paws but he didn't like wearing the booties that Penny bought him. He was a dog that loved his people. Matthew was close to Blackie. He had bad hips, lots of arthritis and stairs were a problem for him. It was the stairs that finally was his undoing.

On Monday of this week, he fell, tore the ligament in his back right leg and couldn't walk. Sadness hit the family. Tuesday, I took him to the vet, and the unfortunate outcome came upon us. We had to say good bye to Blackie. I know that it isn't true but I sure hope that "all dogs go to heaven," like the movie says. I imagine he is running and playing with Goldie and Missey. And perhaps even with Bart our cat that loved to tease Blackie in so many ways. Thanks for all the memories and joy Blackie. You were a good dog, a good friend and a part of our family.

I was asked the very words that are the title of today's blog. When will it end? One sad event after another. One heartache after another. A family dog for us. A family member for another. The loss is difficult, a weight that is upon the shoulders, in the heart of the one that has the loss. When will it end? When will the pains of this world end? When will people quit getting sick? When will people quit suffering? When will all of this be no more? 

The only answer that we can give is when Christ returns! That is the absolute best answer that we have, and it brings joy to the heart. When Christ comes again, this heaven and this earth will pass away and He will give us the new heaven and the new earth. Out of the rottenness of this sin-filled and death-filled world, He will give us a sinless and deathless world. Eternity with the Lord will be the exact opposite of what we face today. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more cold, bitter weather and crippling snowstorms or ice storms. No more traffic jams. No more shootings, rapes, robberies. No more suffering. No more illness. No more temptation. No more sin. NO MORE DEATH! 

That is the wonder of Christ's return. All this, all this frustration, anxiety, fear, suffering, tears, pain, grief, and loss will be gone. In one moment, it will be gone. And it is will be replaced by the wonder of what Christ gives to us in eternity. What will it be like? Beyond anything that we can ever imagine. And it will be great, fantastic, wonderful, amazing and however else you want to describe it.

Until then, there will be tears and sorrow. There will be loss. And Christ will take us in His arms, comfort us and heal our broken hearts. We will feel empty and Christ will offer to fill that void. Here is the real question: Will you allow Him to fill your emptiness with His love, presence and peace? Don't live in your grief and loss. I am not saying to forget. You can't. But what you can do is give it to the Lord. Too many times we hold onto the grief thinking that in that way we honor the one we have lost. We aren't. We honor them by giving up the grief to the Lord and holding onto the wonderful memories we have. Carry the memories. Carry the love. Let the Lord carry the grief. 

Thank You, Lord, for Blackie. I know that You made these animals to be special to us. I appreciate it. It was a great 14 1/2 years. What do You have for us for the next years? I can't wait to see.


  1. We lost our Maggie about 2 weeks before Christmas. We had her only 9 years but we miss her still and will always think of her. Thoughts are with you.