Occasionally, looking into the eyes of my daughter’s dog, I will joke with my daughter about what that dog is thinking. Do animals think? I’ve heard that thinking is what differentiates animals from humans. At one time didn’t people think it was communication—talking—that separated us from animals? Huh. My daughter’s cat talks. Well, okay, not in English. Cat talk, I guess. She has a particular way of saying, “Eeyowaaaah” when it’s around the time of day she is feed. When she decides she wants attention, she says, “Eeh,” while rubbing against my leg. And the other day, at the laundry room door, she said, “Eeyo.” It wasn’t feeding time. She wasn’t near by to want her head scratched. What does “Eeyo” mean.
I got up and looked in the laundry room. Her water bowl was empty. Oh, that’s what “Eeyo” means. But was there a thought process going on? Did she think to her self, “I am thirsty. There is no water in the bowl. I’ll just make up a word that means, I want something, and he’ll figure it out and I’ll get water.” Perhaps. She hasn’t figured out how to tell me if she thinks or not.
Can animals be thankful. That cat didn’t come up afterward and scratch my head, and devise a fourth word for, “thank you.” But perhaps animals can be thankful. . . in their own way. Perhaps they also can rejoice. We know all creation can groan with anticipation. “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:22,23. And we also know that it is possible for inanimate objects to speak. Rocks, for instance: “And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to [Y’shuaJesus], ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples.’ He answered, ‘I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’ ” Luke 19:39,40. And if animals and rocks will cry out, am I not even more responsible to do the same?
When I wrote about the little things that bring me joy, like the Fireflies and Dragon Flies, and Dogs riding in pickup trucks, I felt again the joy those moment brought to me. I am remiss in not following each moment with thanksgiving, praise, worship, and totally rejoicing in the Lord Who is the One Who Provides. I need to get my head off the pavement, lift up my chin, and rejoice.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 16:23.
When my daughter’s cat says, “Eeh,” and I reach out to scratch her head I don’t expect her to thank me. But I have the capacity to thank the G-d Who created me, Who has known me from the time I was conceived, Who loved me so much that He gave His Son as atonement for my sin. I have the capacity to rejoice. The Word of the Lord is a lamp to my feet so that I can see where I am. The Lord’s Word is also a light for my path so that I may see what is ahead. That light extends into eternity. Ahead may be a winding, treacherous path, but it is only temporary. For the path leads to an eternity where all my tears are dried, where there is complete peace.
“Lift up your head,” I must remind myself daily. For it is so easy to dwell upon the few feet illuminated around my feet or only a short distance ahead where I see difficulties, and not look up to the eternity that stretches out, beyond the next, very short, portion of my path.
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.