Six months later I am still amazed at how my heart is entangled with a beautiful Black Lab that was such a wonderful part of our lives for nearly 11 years. And I’m okay with this! One of my fears in letting her go was that I might forget the joy she has brought to our lives; and I don’t want to forget!
I could not imagine last summer, the sense of ‘emptiness’ we would experience in not having a dog in our home. I have often said since then, as has Janice, ‘I don’t think I can go through the experience of having to let go again’. But letting go is very much a part of life and the only way to avoid such pain is to close off one’s heart.
So, recently we opened our hearts and lives to a puppy; another Black Lab, we have named Chara. The Greek word ‘chara’ means joy, happiness, a source of joy. If you have ever had a puppy in your home, you know they are indeed a source of great joy! This new found source of happiness, reminds me that we were created to experience joy. I am reminded too of the ultimate source of joy, God Himself. The Psalmist says of God: You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence. (Psalm 16:11)
We are created in the image of God and our God is a God of great joy! He delights in His creation; He delights in these funny creatures called human beings! And, He delights over you and me!
David would write, The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of his servant. (Psalm 35:27).
The Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. (Psalm 147:11)
My heart is encouraged to think that my God finds great joy is seeing one of His children find happiness in a puppy! But that’s the kind of God He is! When I think on this, something within me wants to proclaim with the Psalmist: The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (Psalm 28:7)