Caring for God's Creatures -The Crosswalk Devotional - March 25
The Crosswalk Devotional
By Lynette Kittle, Crosswalk.com
Caring for God’s Creatures
By Lynette Kittle
“Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, ‘What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?’” - Numbers 22:28
Talking donkeys? As a kid I loved the classic 1950s movie, “Francis the Talking Mule,” that played on Saturday afternoons. This mule was sassy, fun, smart, and a little bit of a troublemaker.
As well, the 1960 reruns of “Mr. Ed,” a television show about a wisecracking talking horse provides hours of laughs. His antics of outsmarting his owner, Wilbur, and putting him in embarrassing situations leave viewers amused and entertained.
Although both delightful talking animals seemed far-fetched, the Bible tells us of a real-life talking donkey who had something to say, leaving us wondering what would our pets say to us if God opened their mouths and allowed them to speak to us.
They speak to us with barks, meows, winnowing, licks, and wagging tails, but most of the time we have to guess what they’re really trying to communicate to us. Hopefully, their words would be filled with gratitude for the loving care we give them rather than questions of neglect or mistreatment like Balaam’s donkey asked.
So Much to Love About Animals
Some of my favorite posts to watch online involve pets and animals. These include rescued animals, special needs animals, animals befriending other animals, and so on.
God’s amazing animals serve as wonderful companions to both people and each other. They bring joy to us, along with beneficial qualities such as companionship, loyalty, comfort, protectiveness, and so much more.
No wonder many people have turned to animals for their emotional support and travel companions over other humans. Animals have a way of providing unconditional acceptance and loyalty that individuals don’t always find with one another.
Because, in some extremes, groups have made animal life more important than human life, it seems some Christians think they have to choose between loving humans and loving animals. But we don’t have to choose one or the other to love, because we can love and care for both people and animals, knowing our loving God created and gives life to both.
In the beginning, God created both animals and humans. He then went to great lengths to preserve and save Noah, his family, and the animals on earth in the ark (Genesis 7:2-3), safely sheltering them from flood waters (Genesis 1:8). Like Noah, we, too, are called to lovingly look after and care for our families and animals.
Fashioned for Our Delight
Humans have been entrusted by God to care for animals. One characteristic of a godly person is caring for their animals. “The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel” (Proverbs 12:10).
After lovingly designing each unique animal, God gave man the great privilege of naming each of them. “Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals” (Genesis 2:19-20).
As well, when we care for the beautiful animals God fashioned, there comes a great sense of satisfaction and blessing in our lives. As Genesis 1:28 describes, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’”
Everything God made is good (Genesis 1:31), and He’s given us the privilege and responsibility of taking care of His beautiful creation of animals. We can be assured that whatever God has called us to do is not only pleasing to Him but also beneficial to us in ways we most likely don’t even comprehend.
Intersecting Faith and Life:
How are you fulfilling God’s calling and responsibility to care for His beautiful creation? If a pet or animal owner, are you providing for their practical needs with food, water, and shelter? If not a pet owner, there are ways to offer comfort and care when called upon like pet sitting for a friend or family member, volunteering or donating to animal rescue or care facilities, or just by the way we speak about animals and their place in the world, recognizing God’s delight in creating and giving them life.
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Eva Blanco
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.
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