Christian Living

Of Cats And Men

We woke up to twenty below zero this morning with wind chills much lower! It is burr freezing cold here in Michigan and looks to be about the same for the next week or so! These are the days when you bundle up with a hot cup of coffee, maybe binge-watch your favorite show while home made stew simmers on the stove. Or maybe just curl up with a good book or pen and paper…or laptop…and start writing. That would be ideal. Instead, we find our two cats (Socks and Shadow) have fleas so after they were bathed, my day will be spent doing laundry…all of it…clothes, bedding, pillows, blankets. At least I can get that pot of stew cooking and my cup of coffee is hot!

The cats have been scratching for a while. We have no other animals and they never go outside so we did not even think about the possibility of fleas. We have no idea where they came from. We thought maybe it was just the dry winter air due to our forced air heat, so we put our humidifier going and called it good. It took my wife watching Socks go at an itch as if a holy terror was attacking her belly for us to investigate and discover the real root of the problem. Poor cats…what our ignorance has put them through for weeks I would not wish on anyone! True, I could just let the cats go about the house and not worry about the infestation. I could deal with the scratching and caterwauling at all hours of the day and night. I could slowly let the fleas infest our furniture and carpet and bedding and just deal with them eventually biting my ankles. I could just ignore the problem, plan on it not never going away, and decide that this is my life as it is and move on in blissful oblivion.

Sadly, this is what many of us do. We scratch as life bites, cry to the heavens “why me?!”, then roll over and do the same the next day.  We settle for existence though we are promised abundance. We do not dig deeper so we cannot build stronger. We sit on just enough when we could have a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing.  The real issue is what we are surrendering to: it would take too long to fix; it would hurt me or someone else; I’d have to say I’m sorry and mean it; I don’t want to forgive; I would need help. Nowhere in the Bible does the Good Lord ask us to just give up in the face of these taunts. We are not to live as those who have no hope so why try. We are not to surrender the circumstances of life because the Good Lord does not deal in circumstance. Things do not just happen for no reason. All things work together for good. We are sons and daughters of the creator of all that is seen and unseen and in him ALL things are possible!

So, Socks and Shadow are angry for the moment as they lick their wounds and dry their fur in various corners of the house. I would be too…I have been there. I will check on them through the day, make sure they are alright and not alone and warm enough. I’m sure Socks will be gently purring on my lap later this evening dry, safe and comfortable. Surrender is never easy but giving in to one who loves us enough to make a way through any struggle, walk the path with us, and still be there with open arms when all is said and done is well worth the pain we may feel in the moment.

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