by Linda Veath
In (God’s) hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. ~ Job 12:10 NIV
I smiled that Sunday morning as I looked at the worship bulletin. I also teared up just a tad. At the bottom of the page, where our prayer requests were listed, I read:
Pet Prayers “Mr. Nellie” — Linda Veath’s 10-year old terrier.
It was just what I needed that morning after a week of worrying about Mr. Nellie, who had spent three days at the veterinary clinic. I felt God touching me through the kindness of the church secretary, who had added me to the prayer requests in the bulletin, and through the knowledge that many in the congregation would be praying for my dog and me.
A trip to a speciality veterinarian in St. Louis still lay ahead, looming with “what if’s.” Mr. Nellie and my other dog, Miss Chrissie, were “my children,” and I was a wreck. Later, I opened an email from a dear friend, Liz, my Bible study leader. God’s peace settled over me as I read the scripture (Job 12:10) she shared. It also sent me to the Bible to look at verses about animals.
In Genesis, God made the animals on the 6th day out of the dust of the ground, and asked Adam to name them. Later, God commanded Noah to take the animals aboard the ark with his family. The covenant after the flood included every creature. Jacob built shelters for his livestock. The Sabbath Day commandment included animals resting on the 7th day.
But there’s more.
Psalm 50 tells us that the cattle on a thousand hills belong to the Lord. In Psalm 104, the animals look to Him for food and He feeds them. In Psalm 145, God satisfies the desire of every living thing. And the sparrows! Matthew and Luke tell us that not one sparrow is forgotten by God. Not. One. Sparrow.
Neither will Mr. Nellie be forgotten by God. God made him and loves him. God made all our animal friends—every tail, every tongue, every heart.
Not every church will have a “pet prayer” section in their worship bulletins, but we can still pray for our pets knowing that God loves them. And, as wacky as we pet parents can be, God loves us too.
Thank you for your prayers for Mr. Nellie.