As most of you know who read my posts, I am not an animal lover. I don’t hate animals by any means, actually Breanne had every animal known to man while she was little, including a hamster that continually got out and roamed the house. She loves animals, as does her kids. Brailee often asks me ‘do you love dogs?’ I say ‘no.’ She will say ‘but don’t you love little dogs like Sprinkles?’ I finally say ‘yes, I love Sprinkles.’ Sprinkles is their small dog.
So, I don’t love animals, however, this scraggly looking cat began to come to my back porch and stand there and look at me. I just looked back at him for a couple weeks; then he did this one day while Breanne and the kids were here. They did the unthinkable, they fed him. From that day until this day, he comes back daily and just looks at me. I finally set him some food out.
At first he was very afraid, when I would open the door to set the food out, even though he was hungry, we would run. He always came back when I went inside. Eventually he would just go to the bottom of the steps and come right back. I knew he was gaining courage and knew I wasn’t there to hurt him. So, this scraggly cat became my cat. We get along fine, he doesn’t want me to bother him, he just wants food and I don’t love animals but I don’t want to see them hungry so I feed him and he goes away, a perfect animal relationship for me Breanne says.
One night this past week I heard an awful sound of two animals fighting, I went to the back porch, there were no animals there, but there was gray cat hair all over the place. I knew my cat had taken a beaten to say the least.
He did not come back for a few days and I thought he may not have made it, then one day he came back, not on the porch but down near it. He was terribly scared and just kept looking around. The next day he came up on the porch but ran when I set out food and didn’t come back for a long time. Today he came and ran to the bottom of the steps when I opened the door, but he came right back and ate – he looked around a lot, but he ate. I knew the trauma of the attack was being overcome.
I’ve thought about what this cat went through and how believers often go through a similar experience as well. Especially in believing God.
For myself, I have always believed nothing was impossible for God – absolutely nothing. I boldly prayed and believed at all times. However, I noticed when I began to go through a season of fire after fire, death after death and disappointment after disappointment, I became more cautious in my faith.
I didn’t boldly come before the table of the Lord and eat of all his promises, I, for a season, weighed them against the battles and challenges I had gone through. I began to see through a lens of caution, if not unbelief. I had to work my way out of that, just like this cat had to work its way back to trusting me, I had to work my way back to fully trusting God. Now, that may not sound very spiritual, but it is simply the truth. The problem was never with God or his faithfulness, the problem was always with me and my perception.
Just like it was with the cat. I had never harmed him. I had never allowed him to go without food when I knew he needed it. I had never run him away from my porch when he sought refuge from storms. I was not the one that harmed him – yet the harm, the trauma took a toll on him and it took him some time to realize the truth and the truth was I was his shelter not the one trying to destroy him.
I think this happens a lot in the body of Christ. We endure a trauma and it takes a toll on us and we forget. We forget who fed us when we were hungry. We forget who we ran to in the beginning. We forget that he was our refuge in the storm and that he was never the one who brought harm, we forget, and it takes some time to regain our boldness to believe again.
I want to encourage you today – remember the one who watches over you – who feeds you – who makes sure you have enough – remember your refuge in the storm, the one who will never leave you nor forsake you – remember him and remember, he was not the one who brought harm or trauma or disappointment. He came that we might have life and life more abundantly – remember that.