Isaiah 11:6, "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and
the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young
lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them."
Isaiah 11:7-9, "The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones
shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The
nursing child shall play by the cobraís hole, and the weaned child shall
put his hand in the viperís den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in
all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of
the LORD as the waters cover the sea"
Isaiah 65:25, "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion
shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."
Over the years I have had my share of pets. Some I have taken great
care of. While some, when I was really young, I could have taken better
care of. It is easy to imagine that I am not alone in this story of
having relationships between myself and animals. The interesting thing
that I have heard is the division between those who are strongly convinced
that there will be our pets in Heaven and those who flatly deny. This
is where our reflection comes into focus.
The above scriptures tell us of the relationship of some rather diverse
animals. How they will be blessed with peace and pose no threat to those
who will live in this future paradise. Such images of innocent babes
playing near what now would be dangerous places. So if these random
and varied animals are to be found in Heaven, why shouldn't our pets
also find their way there. Imagine the joy of being reunited with the
family dog or cat. Well, in fact being reunited with the seven or more
pet dogs you may have had through your life here on earth. Do you start
to feel a little overwhelmed at the very thought of so many pets all
running at you at once? The care and maintenance of one of them at a
time may have been at time challenging. So now you can start to worry
about all of them looking to you to be fed at the same time? I am not
so certain that this scenario will be played out.
Perhaps it would be better to imagine that our pets were gifted to us
here on this earth as a sort of way of teaching us many of life's important
lessons. Such as to be able to care for others. Or perhaps to look beyond
our own needs and desires. While we care for a pet we also learn valuable
insights into how to care and respect others. There are several prisoner
reform courses where the residents (previously inmates) are given a
pet to care for. Some are given dogs while others are given native birds
in need of care before release. In both cases the residents learn important
empathy skills that will help them when the return to society.
So what might happen in Heaven if our pets are there but not in the
same relationship with us as we once knew? This is more conjecture than
logical fact. Based primarily on the lack of Biblical references to
pets and Heaven. It is my belief that God brings a pet into our lives
as mentioned. To teach us important life skills. When the pet passes
on, God may send the spirit of the pet to a new owner. Something that
would be up to God and not beyond his majestic ability. When we final
find our rest and join God and our Lord Jesus, we will see once again
the pets we once knew. But they will be free and able to travel around
Heaven to meet and be with the many humans who had known them. Perhaps
a little fanciful, but just the same still within the scope of a God
that has made and designed all things to be good and useful.
So next time someone tells you that pets are not in Heaven ask them
if God ever makes something that has no eternal value. Challenge them
to think of our Pets as Gods animal angels sent to guide, teach and
encourage us through life. If they still refuse to see your point of
view, just smile and walk away. No need to get bogged down in arguments
with people who have little empathy for your point of view.
I pray that I may be found,
Worthy of the,
Of an earthly pet.
That one day I'm able to,
In our Heavenly abode.