Pastor’s Perspective 8-1-17
My son had to put his chocolate lab down last week. It was a significant emotional event for all of us. Maverick was only four years old. He had developed some serious health issues that impacted his ability to do even simple things. Hundreds of dollars of tests came back negative, but Mav’s symptoms continued and progressively got worse. He had no appetite. He would fall down for no reason. It was obvious he didn’t feel well. It was equally obvious that Jon needed to put him down. It was the loving thing to do. But it was hard.
My son made the appointment with the vet, loaded Mav’s bed in the back of his SUV, helped his four-legged friend get in the car, and then lost it. He and Jenny brought Mav home when he was just a puppy. Before they had children. Mav was the best dog I’ve ever seen around children. He and our granddaughter Ryleigh grew up together. I’m sure the memories were flooding thru Jon’s mind. He knew I understood because I had to put our 5-year-old golden retriever down when Jon was in middle school. His cancer had taken away his quality of life and he needed me to do the loving thing. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I cried, too.
Love can be difficult. Love means putting the needs of your spouse over your own needs. Love means setting boundaries for your children as they grow up to teach them right from wrong. And enforcing the standard so they will learn that their actions have consequences. Love means saying “no” sometimes to people that you love. Precisely because you love them and you don’t want to enable harmful behavior. Love means confronting a brother or sister in Christ about sinful behavior. Love means making tough decisions for aging loved ones who are no longer capable of taking care of themselves. Doing the right thing out of love isn’t always easy.
It wasn’t easy for God to send His only Son to earth to die a horrible death for a world of sinners. But it was the loving thing to do. It wasn’t easy for Jesus to embrace the cross. But it was the loving thing to do. The Father and the Son couldn’t let things on earth continue the way they were. We all needed someone to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. I am thanking God today for doing the loving thing.
See you Sunday! ~ John