We’ve had cold spell for the past few days. We are feeling the chill and so are our animals, who all sit around shivering and whining. I was walking through the backyard yesterday when I spotted our three cats all huddled together under what appeared to be the only dry spot in all the world near an overhang of the roof over our little deck.
It was really cold and the rain just made it miserable. I felt sorry for them, especially since I knew there was a warmer spot for them to go. So I stopped what I was doing and went around to the front of the house where we have a long, dry porch that’s loaded with cushions and comfy places to sit. There’s even a window where warm air blows exhaust from the fan in my bedroom (it’s usually an A/C but I just needed the fan during the cold weather). So I moved a few of the cushions over to the warm, dry spot and even grabbed a blanket from the house for them to snuggle in if they wanted.
Once I had my kitty winter heaven all set up I went back around the house where the cats were still pressed together looking miserable and sad. I picked them up, one at a time, and carried them to the front and set them down in the cozy spot I made for them. I would pet them a little and warm them up and then get the next cat, until they were all sitting there like kings and queens.
I went into the house and got back to what I was doing. No sad, wet cats. I was feeling pretty happy with the situation and glad they could be out of the cold rain.
Then about half an hour later I walked into the back yard and there they were….all three cats sitting in that teeny dry space on the deck pressed up against each other again! It was a miserable sight and I wondered what happened. So again I picked them up and took them to the front porch. I even took some cat food with me and sprinkled it there for them to eat. I sat there with them and they just stared at me until I walked away. Then, without another thought, they all got up and slowly made their way back to the awful, cold spot on the deck.
“Dumb cats!” I thought, “Why don’t they stay where it’s warm and dry?!”
Then it hit me like a bolt of lightening. That is me. I am the dumb cat who keeps going back to the place that’s not good for me just because I don’t understand it. I stick to what I know and don’t trust Him.
God prepares wonderful, warm, cozy places for me that are so much better than what I have that I can’t even fathom it. Then, if I don’t go willingly, He picks me up and carries me there. And I STILL don’t see it. I keep going back to what I am familiar with. I trust myself which keeps me from experiencing His riches.
How many men in the Bible couldn’t see what amazing things were in store for them? We read about Moses and Paul and Peter and we can’t believe how they lose their faith or don’t trust God. Then we turn around and do the same thing!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Prov 3:5
Sometimes it’s a small change in my plans, like saying something to a stranger. I feel the nudge pretty often, to say something that feels odd to a person in line behind me at the store or next to me on a plane or other times when I’m just standing near people. I don’t want to. It’s uncomfortable and I don’t like talking to strangers. But when I do it there’s always (even when they think I am weird) an unexpected blessing. I have heard the sweetest stories and met the most interesting people and the best is when they get that look in their eye like they really needed to hear what I had to say.
But sometimes, and this is harder, God wants to put me in a really uncomfortable place that I resist so hard I may as well be the Rock of Gibraltar. Like forgiving someone who purposely hurt me and wont apologize….that’s hard. But it’s like the cats…..if I will just let Him move me then I will discover something so much better in the new place of forgiveness! Unforgiveness is definitely a cold, wet, miserable place to live. And there is warmth and soft blankets once you’ve been willing to let go of it!
So many times I just don’t trust the next move and I revert back to my old ways. From now on I am going make it a goal to think of that warm place on the porch and let myself be carried, even when I don’t understand.
Where is God trying to move you that you are resisting? How can you let go and trust Him instead of trusting yourself? Do you believe that He is taking you to an even better place than you are now?! (I don’t mean richer or nicer, I mean whatever is best for YOU!)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer 29:11
Who would have thought I would learn so much from three cats who sit around in the rain when there’s a warm spot just around the corner? I guess you never know when God is going to pierce your heart with a message of hope and clear those clouds away and let you see something in yourself.
And the cats? They’re still sitting there. We tried putting them in our little guest house for the night and they wouldn’t go. I hope they find a warmer place to huddle for the night. But there’s only so much you can do when they refuse to change.
Lord, please don’t let me be like that.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deut 31:6