China's Last Flight


It was a sad night. China, my son's pet Lineolated Parakeet lay in my hands, shivering, feathers ruffled, close to death. I had taken her to the vet earlier in the day, and I had learned that she suffered from a rare condition: Her body didn't absorb the iodine that we gave her in her diet and she was dying of a thyroid dysfunction. It was too late to help her. There was nothing to do but comfort her in her last hours.

My son was upstairs, supposedly asleep. But I knew better. I knew he lay in his bed praying: Praying for God to spare his tiny pet; praying that if He didn't, that He would take her to live with Him.

I wasn't sure how I felt about this second prayer. I had been raised to believe that Heaven was for people, not pets; that animals didn't have souls. But I didn't have the energy to sort this out in my mind right then. My own emotions were far too strong for such deep thoughts. I was too busy pleading with God to save the life of this tiny bird, if not for me, then for my son! After all, what better way to prove to him that God is all powerful and that God answers prayers!

But as I continue to watch this usually independent, feisty green girl uncharacteristically snuggle into my hand, I knew that it was not to be, that her remaining time on earth was short.

Then suddenly, it seemed that God was answering our prayers! China sat up in my hand and became very alert, staring intently into the distance! I knew this stance: She was getting ready to take off! Then after a minute in this pose, she did what I knew to be impossible for her in her condition: She began to fly! Her direction? Straight up, straight towards whatever she had been looking at in the distance!

But as her tiny body left my hand, the remaining strength left it, and she fell back in a crumpled heap. China had taken her last flight.

But where was she flying to?

Why had this crumpled pile of feathers suddenly become so alert on something in the distance?

Why had she summonsed all reserves of energy to fly - straight up-as if she were flying towards something? Or someone?

The answer came from that familiar still, small voice in my mind: "She was flying to Me. I was calling her home!"

I shook my head: It was impossible! Animals don't go to Heaven!

But there was no denying the facts. China's actions in the last minutes, even the last seconds of her life, would definitely show that she was, indeed, being called home, and not only was she was answering that call, but she couldn't wait to get there!

The Bible doesn't tell us what happens to animals when they die, but we must remember three important facts:

1. The Bible is written about humans, not animals, and it doesn't tell us what happens to animals when they die. It does, however, tell us there will be animals in Heaven: "'The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox, but dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain,' says the LORD." (Isa 65:25 5 NIV).

2. Jesus was very clear that God looks out for the animals, specifically the "birds of the air" (See Matt. 6:26)!

3. Animals are not the ones who brought sin into the world; rather they are nothing but innocent victims of the destruction mankind has brought about: "Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned…" (Rom 5:12 NIV). As a result, it wasn't necessary for Jesus to die for animals; it was necessary for Him to die for us!

4. God is love. He loves ALL of His creation!

Friends, I firmly believe that in the last seconds of life, China was seeing her Maker; that her Creator was truly calling her home. And I believe that there will be an inquisitive, independent green lineolated parakeet named China waiting for me when I get to Heaven. In fact, I believe there will be a whole herd of beloved animals to greet me, all of my long lost best friends!

But best of all, there will be Jesus!

Are you as excited to meet Jesus as China was in her last minutes? If you have accepted Jesus' gift of Salvation, then when your time comes, you can be just as eager, just as sure, for the Bible tells us that WE are MORE important than the birds of the air: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than the?" (Matt. 6:26 NIV). This means that when your time on Earth is done, the Father is even MORE anxious to call YOU home than He was my son's pet!

If you haven't accepted Jesus' gift of Salvation, don't wait another minute! Remember, Jesus is the ONLY way to obtain Salvation, the ONLY way to attain Heaven: "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" (John 14:6-7 NIV); "Therefore Jesus said again, 'I tell you the truth . . . I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.'" (John 10:7-10 NIV)

If you need help coming to Jesus, go to http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html . Or if you are unsure about your Salvation, contact me at helpmelearnaboutjesus@gmail.com !

Lyn Chaffart , Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org

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