I’m grateful for all the love so many of you have poured on me in the last two days. It was a beautiful gift and a balm to my heart. Thank you! I’ve been amazed at how fast the Lord has held me and all that the Spirit has shown me. This has been the cleanest grief of my life so far, and I believe that the key is repentance.
Repentance Born of Suffering
God sent me my dogs before I was born again, and there were many times when I was a thoughtless and stupid steward of His gift. I made many mistakes over the years, and almost all of them were failures of authority and responsibility. And in one way or another, my dogs suffered as a consequence of those failures. And that fact broke my heart in repentance again and again.
My many, MANY repentances have never erased what I’ve done; they’ve simply ushered in the grace and forgiveness that I so desperately need just to walk through this life in the reality of who I am and what I’ve done. That same grace enables a real change to take place in my heart and my life. Repentance has never been easy for me, but it is very, very simple. All it requires is acknowledging the suffering I’ve caused – taking full responsibility for it – and receiving unconditionally the truth that the Spirit brings about the motive of my heart.
The Fruit of Repentance is Perceivable
My dogs didn’t hold a grudge. Month by month, the Lord made me a better steward to them…still does. Buddy’s death is wrenching but clean. Was I a good steward when I screamed in his injured face and slammed the door on him? No. That was just horrible of me, but it wasn’t the whole of our time together, just a moment. And a year later when Beauty was mauled by a bear and dragged herself home with a bloody skull peeking out of her mangled scalp, I didn’t run. My time with Buddy’s terrible ordeal prepared me for Beauty’s even worse condition. Repentance for my initial cowardice and lack of love with Buddy led to real change that was evidenced in how I was able to deal with Beauty.
These are just a few of the things I’m seeing right now, and my gratitude for Buddy fair overwhelms my grief at his passing. There are many things that I take on pure faith in this life, but there is also an abundance of concrete proof of the Spirit’s work. The fruit of repentance is tangible. And right now, I am amazed at the lack of self-recrimination I’m experiencing. It is miraculous, all things considered, and can only be the result of years of repentance and the grace that poured over me when He forgave me.
Buddy may be gone, but my time with him is a gift that will continue to bear fruit all my life. God’s gifts always work on many levels, and His gifts are so very good.
The Lord of Hosts Himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way? It is His hand that is outstretched, so who can turn it back?
Isaiah 14:27 HCSB