The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe...
Friends: this is Thursday's message, which I am sending out Wednesday night because I wrote this earlier in commemoration of our beagle Sparrow's passing a year ago today, and also in gratitude for Ellie, our newest beagle family member (who, interestingly, was conceived about the same time). Glen
Our beloved beagle Sparrow left us a year ago today. If you've been with us awhile, you know about Sparrow. She was part of our family for 13 and ½ years, and remains with us by her legacy of loving sweetness, gentleness, and literary inspiration (she was my co-author all those years). We miss her presence, and this afternoon has brought happy memories, along with sad tears and yet another realization of what a gift she was and is to our hearts.
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17).
Now, of course, there's Ellie, our newest beagle. She was conceived, unbeknownst to us at the time, during the same time frame in which Sparrow departed (possibly the same day). Ellie has become pure joy to us as well, and most certainly one of those "good gifts" our Heavenly Father so loves to give. She is quite a bit more lively than Sparrow (who had a heart murmur from the time she was a pup). Indeed, there is no NFL running back who would not give a fortune to have Ellie's speed and ability to stop on a dime, or spin like a whirlwind (the rabbit community is said to be greatly relieved that Ellie will not be a hunting dog!). She is sweet like Sparrow, and while she could never replace our departed sweetheart, Ellie has found her own place in our hearts and home.
I believe with all my heart than when we lose things, our Lord replaces them in some manner as we trust and submit to Him. The successor may not be as literal a replacement as beagle for beagle, but God always has something new for our hearts when we must say farewell to old and cherished things. The most vivid expression of this truth was found when the disciples lost the physical presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, certainly the most heartbreaking sorrow that ever befell human hearts.
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you" (John 16:7).
The disciples of the Lord Jesus suffered the greatest of all losses when the Savior left them by way of the cross, the resurrection, and the ascension. Without minimizing the sorrows we have all known, only the disciples lost the perfection and wonder of God as man. The Lord Jesus went away. However, He did not leave them alone. He sent the Holy Spirit to comfort and indwell their spirits. Broken hearts made possible the entrance of the living God, and thus a life beyond anything the Lord Jesus could have given them by His physical presence. The loss of the Savior in that sense led to the life of the Successor, the Holy Spirit, who reveals the Lord Jesus within trusting hearts in such a manner that the Apostle Paul termed the gift, "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).
Ellie did not replace Sparrow. That is not possible. But she brings her own gifts of comfort, joy, and blessing from the One who always has a successor of some form when, with broken hearts, we receive His consolation and compensation. Long ago, shattered disciples became the very temples of the living God when their great loss led to the most wondrous gain imaginable. The principle continues to this day as we look to our Father who so loves to fill voids of loss with gifts of love that make us "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (II Corinthians 6:10).
"Then said some of His disciples among themselves, What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me: and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, What is this that He saith, A little while? We cannot tell what He saith. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask Him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me? Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you."
Weekly Memory Verse
Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.