We are Here for a Purpose

Sadly, our dog is dying. Last night my husband held Jazz for a long time, in tears, as our dear white Bichon shivered in his arms. Judah's Pics and videos 002Bichons are notorious for being “Velcro dogs”, meaning they follow you everywhere and their highest joy in life is just to be with their people. If Jazz can’t get in my lap, he’ll settle for my feet and lay his head on top of my foot as I work.  Right now he’s lying at my youngest daughter’s feet on a sleeping bag as she studies for her Anatomy quiz. He won’t eat, just sleeps and eats snow. Who would have thought that snow would be the highlight of his life in his twilight years?  Jazz probably thinks God sent a large plate of vanilla ice cream down here just for him in his last days. A few minutes ago my daughter brought in snow on a paper plate for him to eat. He stuffed his face into it and stayed that way, as happy as can be. A few minutes later he ate it.  He doesn’t seem to be in pain—that would be unbearable for all of us. 

Jazz is here because I asked God for him.  Our first dog, Friski, was the center of our oldest daughter’s world. He was suddenly and tragically killed when a van hit him in front of our house in 2006, when Eden was eleven. Eden was devastated.  I didn’t realize how devastated she was until one night at bedtime I found her sitting on the stairs leading up to her room with her hand in a ziplock bag.  I looked closely and saw fluffy white stuff inside the bag.  I said, “Eden, what’s in there?”  She said, “I cut Friski’s hair a long time ago in case anything ever happened to him.”  So she had her hand in the bag, feeling his curly soft hair, and it brought her comfort.  Yep, I cried.  And I asked God to send our Eden another dog.  A special dog. 

Jazz Summer of 2013

Jazz Summer of 2013

Six months later our neighbor gave us her Bichon Frise because she was moving.  Eden and Jazz were immediately attached—inseparable friends for life.  Jazz pulled Eden’s wagon, sledded down the hill with her and her sister, went on bike rides, and slept in her bed. Then Eden turned eighteen and moved out last spring and she couldn’t take the dog with her.  Jazz loves us all, but no one is as dear to his heart as Eden and he misses her constant presence in our home.   

Pets are special and, much like people, they need more than food and shelter to be happy in life. In 2012 I picked up writing/research work for an upcoming pet website. My job was to interview animal rescuers, veterinarians, and pet owners to research all the facts needed about individual breeds of cats, dogs, fish, reptiles, and birds. Overall, the one thing that stood out to me more than anything else is that these experts said that animals need a sense of purpose.  They need a job to do, something that makes them feel useful, needed, and part of the family.  Isn’t that amazing? 

I guess you see where I’m going with this.  I’ve talked a lot about harvest, preaching the gospel, and reaching the lost.  This is the day and the hour to bring in the harvest because the coming of Christ is so near. 

But each one of us has a special purpose, a job to do in this harvest. Not everyone is called to preach.  Not every person is called to take the microphone. 

In Acts 16 we see the story of Paul preaching the gospel.  But Paul was not alone.  There were other people involved. And each person was important. Look at this list:

Silas, Luke, and Timothy—Paul’s traveling companions, confidants, ministers

Prayer warriors—a large group of women praying down by the river

Lydia—an example in believer’s baptism and a witness to her whole family

Lydia and her husband—showed hospitality to Paul, Silas, Luke, and Timothy and kept them in their home so these four men could be at liberty to preach the gospel in their town.

Jazz is not a person, he’s just a dog. But Jazz has fulfilled his purpose by bringing great joy, comfort, and renewal back to Eden’s life. There was a place in Eden’s heart that only Jazz could fill and he did his job just by being himself.  No stress.  No pressure.  Just being who he was created to be.

I want to encourage you to be who God created you to be.  Exercise the gifts he gave YOU and contribute in that way to this world and to the coming harvest before the Lord’s return. And the best way to be very good at being ourselves is to be a “Velcro person”, always at our Master’s feet, beside him on the couch, and resting in His loving arms.

 

 

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About Lift the Cross of Jesus!

My day job is writing--I'm an author and publisher of a number of books. More on that later. But there is nothing of greater importance to me than the early morning hours I spend with the Creator of the Universe. Although He knows everything there is to know, His greatest delight isn't to give us knowledge, but to give us love. My highest joy is to watch the sun rise with notebook in hand and write the words he speaks to my heart. I want to share some of those words with you here . . . words on the cross.
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9 Responses to We are Here for a Purpose

  1. John Oldfield says:

    Beautifully recounted, described, and said, Hope! Thanks! I printed it out!

    On Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 11:50 AM, liftjesuscross wrote:

    > Lift the Cross of Jesus! posted: “Sadly, our dog is dying. Last night > my husband held Jazz for a long time, in tears, as our dear white Bichon > shivered in his arms. Bichons are notorious for being Velcro dogs, > meaning they follow you everywhere and their highest joy in life is just to > b”

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    • Pastor Oldfield, I’m so glad to hear from you!
      Some people are telling me that they are having hassles with WordPress and comments. I see that Pastor John’s comment above includes a clip from the blog with more computer language. My apologies my friends . . . I will attempt to fix it. But I think they want me to upgrade and I have to pay into that. If you have a comment and can’t get these boxes to work, please email me at seehopeatcomcastdotnet Hurray for new technical difficulties.

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  2. Hope, this is an excellent message, and thank you for creating and sharing it. It is right that we stick close to our Lord and Savior, no matter what’s going one. Thank you for your challenge.

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  3. I really didn’t think about a “Velcro Christian” until I wrote that this morning, Jean. I guess now Jazz has fulfilled two purposes in his earth life–fulfilled Eden’s heart and taught me to stick like Velcro to our King. In fact, I guess he designed us that way, too. : )

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  4. Dona Hake says:

    Hope, I will be praying for you and your family. You well know me to adore my pets and saying goodbye is so painful. As you said, they too have purpose. Oh how I believe that as well. They bring so much joy and fun to our home. Many times I have seen the character of God through the faithful, tender eyes of our German Shepherds. God is so good and has blessed us with these precious creatures too. Love you, Dona

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  5. This is so meaningful to those of us who value our pets. Lovely and true.

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  6. Jazz is gone. Scott prayed that Jazz would go to sleep last night and go peacefully in his sleep. That’s exactly what happened. He died with his head by my shoe. He always had his face stuffed down one of our shoes. Eden came and said her goodbyes last night. Our girls gave him one more plate of snow. I told my daughters that there are seasons in life. Birth and death are all a natural part of earth life, but they’re also the hardest. In tears, but God is here. Thank you all for praying.

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  7. Norma Latta says:

    Great story about the dog ( we had a dog much like this one at one time)
    A lap dog for sure…

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