This week I experienced mortality like I never have before. Through the only humane method made possible by euthanasia, Diggitty Dank my 12 year old black lab peacefully fell asleep and died on May 3rd, 2007 at 11:43PM.
As a result of cancer and multiple infections, Dank went from energetic and playful to lethargic in only a few days. My decision to end her life was greatly influenced by the obvious pain she was experiencing. Though I had feared such a scenario many times, I never imagined how I could find the strength or under which circumstances I would have to make such a decision involving my beloved canine companion.
For those of you who have never been in such a challenging position, the answer is this: When the love you feel for your pet is overshadowed by their suffering. I could no longer handle watching my dog struggle so I ignored my own sorrow and I let her go.
This was the second time I was immensely affected by cancer. In 1997 the disease took my mother Marie in a traumatizing death that stretched over two years. Though I remain thankful God spared me the details of my mother’s losing battle to cancer, I have always felt helpless about my mother’s death. She was more than a parent to me, she was my best friend and because I lived 6 hours away, I wasn’t with her when she died. In a strange way, I feel I did not fulfill my responsibility as her son.
Dank is gone and since there is no such things a doggy heaven, I will never see her again, never rub her soft belly, never watch her leap for a frisbee or ever get to swim with her in the Gulf. We plan on spreading her ashes along her favorite beach where she will rest to the sound of waves and a gentle breeze under a warm Florida sky.
Tough I remain hopeful I will get to rejoice with my mother in heaven, the fact of the matter is I’m not sure she was born again when she suffered her first stroke caused by her cancer. Uncertain she was conscientiously able to redirect her fate, it gravely pains me to admit I am not certain she saved or baptized in the spirit at the time of her death.
You see I wasn’t born again back in ’97 and had little or no concern with my mother’s salvation leading up to her death. Raised within a non practicing Catholic family, heaven was not a popular discussion topic at the St.Pierre’s. Dealing with Dank’s mortality this past week has greatly affected my outlook on salvation and inspired me to share the following truths.
The first undeniable truth is that all human beings are mortal. Sooner or later, you will die. Death is the wage each one of us pays as a result of our sins.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
The second truth is that only those who are born again get to see the kingdom of God.
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” ” How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:1-7)
The third truth involves salvation. In the gospel of Mark Jesus clearly describes that salvation involves both faith and baptism. Only those who believe in Jesus Christ and are baptized either in the spirit or in water will be saved from the eternal lake of fire.
“Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16)
With the above truths in mind and the fact with each breath you are inevitably one breath closer to death, do you know where you will end up after this life? More specifically, are you born again? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Have you been baptized?
Through God’s grace, there is no need for you doubt where you are headed. God loves you no matter what you’ve done. Though His love is unconditional, God’s rewards are not. Eternal life can only be achieved through salvation.
God’s judgment is not based on His love for us, it is based on our love for Him and His son Jesus Christ who was sent to die for our sins. To inherit a place in the kingdom of God all you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ who shed His blood for you, repent of your sins and allow yourself to be immersed in the holy spirit. Take the plunge by sealing your covenant with God by being baptized in water as you publicly acknowledge your rebirth. Do this in the name of father, the son and the holy spirit and you will be saved.
I invite you to call on this ministry for answers to your questions, for assistance with life fulfillment, for counseling or for prayer. Every single person will die sooner or later but not everyone has to end up in hell. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives
And for all that you provide for us, for our families and friends,
We pray you will forgive our sins and inspire us to walk the narrow path
That leads to eternal life in Your kingdom.
Lord we pray you will continue to shine your light bright
Upon us and all those who believe,
And inspire us to share your light onto those around us
Through ministry and life fulfillment.
Lord we ask you to put us to work for you in the days ahead
So that we may be witnesses to your all mighty Grace,
And strengthen us to follow in your footsteps
And become more like you each and every single day.
God we love you and thank you for all that surrounds us!
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre