My wife and I knew that sooner or later we would have to say goodbye to Misty and realized this was the time. We made our final journey with her to the local animal clinic nearby with our hearts breaking. The veterinarian approached the care of our old dog with compassion and great kindness. He informed us that she would gently fall asleep and feel no pain. It seemed like only a short few years since Misty was a pup full of energy and fun. The time had flown by and now it was time for goodbye.
A couple months after Misty died our second canine family member died after being with us for almost twenty years. His name was Angus and he was a Poodle. Like Misty it seemed Angus would always be with us. They brought my family and I much love in the way only a dog can.
Most recently on Dec. 22 of 2014 a dear friend of my wife and I, who happened to be the grandmother of one of our daughters in law, died. Her daughter and other family members gathered round her in her final days while she was a patient at the local hospice. “Granny” received very professional and tender care from the hospice staff.
A theme of loss, illness and death help sum up 2014 for my family and I. Needless to say our emotions have been all over the place. I have mentioned only a few experiences that visited us this past year. Some issues related to health and illness continues to this day.
I thank God that our lives need not be defined by the grief we experience. To endure grief that will most assuredly come into our lives looking forward may be even more precious. The Great Shepherd of our souls is fully aware of our experiences and readily relates to our grief and the joys that come our way.
From my point of view as a husband, father and grandfather I look forward to enjoying life with my family. Perhaps due to the ministry calling the Lord has given me it has made me incredibly sensitive to how brief and fragile our lives not only can be but also are. After almost forty years of local church ministry including pastoral ministry and other areas of leadership my wife and I are tending more to our family. I also have more time now to devote to a more focused period of writing and look forward to seeing where this season of renewed focus will lead.
Here is a promise we may all look forward to. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away (Rev. 21:4)" Our grief, tears and even our deaths are not without meaning. God knows them and has graciously promised us they will one day pass away.