Today I am filled with grief. The tears are overflowing as I write this, making it hard to see the letters on this page. This evening we will be putting our beloved dog, Sheila, down. A huge combination of physical problems has led us to make this very rough decision. It's time to make this hard decision that is kindest to her.
Ten years ago, right around the 9/11 crisis, son Caleb brought home this energetic, beautiful puppy. Sleek gray fur and blue eyes - who could resist this little girl? Though her energy often (usually) outlasted ours, she wormed her way over time into our hearts and became a loved member of the family.
Truly it is hard to make the decision to send her to her last sleep. I cry when I imagine her not being around every moment, shadowing us as we go through our daily routines.
A hard decision, yes. But no, not the hardest I've ever made.
On a warm, muggy evening, back in July of 1972, I made the hardest and most life-changing choice I've ever made. Nothing has come close ever since. That evening I sat in a camp meeting listening to a speaker talk about eternity and our need for Jesus. He went over and over the verse Romans 6:23, dissecting every part of that verse until I knew without a shadow of a doubt I had a huge decision to make.
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
That day I understood I was full of sin and needed a savior.
That day I learned that Jesus paid the price for my sins.
That day I accepted that though I wasn't exactly the "good" girl I thought I was.
That day I saw the free gift offered to me.
That day I chose to follow Jesus.
That day was day one of my new lasting-for-eternity life.
That day I knew I'd spend eternity with Jesus.
Yes, it was the hardest decision I'd ever have to make. In choosing Christ, I gave up all my rights, understandings, and plans, and I submitted them all to him. I told him he had me now, all of me. He could use my life as he saw fit.
Today, yes it'll be rough putting Sheila down. But, in the scheme of eternal life, it's a small blip in the road.
I know my eternity is secure. That's a big one. And that decision has been made.
Have you made that decision?