The child-heart wants to know, “Will there be animals in heaven?” The calloused heart dismisses this as theologically unworthy. Friend, the whole debate ends when you realize that heaven comes to earth. How could your creative God renew his precious earth and not fill it with a renewed animal kingdom? That would be like a village without people.

You know there are horses, for Jesus and his company return on horseback. I wonder what Jesus named his horse. Does he come to his whistle? Does he need a saddle? Oh yes—there are horses in the kingdom.

Now, unless you want to dismiss this as completely allegorical, we have wolves, lambs, leopards, lions, and bears in the kingdom as well. The kingdom of God operates in its fullness on earth. And animals are clearly a part of it, praise our loving Father.

The animal kingdom will be your joyful partner. They will not be afraid of you, nor you of them. They will long to love and serve.

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Dream, my friend. What animals would you love to have come to your call, to have a deep and holy friendship with? Will your childhood dog run to meet you? (God makes all things new.) Will you fly on a golden eagle? Ride the waves with a whale? What does it look like to you, to partner with nature as God intended?

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