Sorry for the lack of postings, my friend. These last few months have been a series of ups and downs. There are times that I feel free, and then other times where I feel totally caged. One such instance occurred yesterday evening that I’d like to share with you. Don’t worry, it’s not a sob story, but one that surprisingly became empowering as a result of God suddenly shifting my perspective.
I have come to the conclusion that perspective really is everything. And realigning yourself with God’s Kingdom agenda instead of your own is key in realizing your overall place in this world. Often times, we focus on ourselves rather than our place.
I am about to go through the process of a divorce and it’s a scary, scary thing. There are times where I find myself not agreeing with what God presents before me as far as circumstances are concerned, but I know that I have to trust God regardless in the fact that He knows best. Even if it seems contradictory on the surface (Mark 10:1-12), I know that just beyond such a contradiction is something quite amazing that He wants to present me, once my faith is displayed in action (Genesis 22:1-18).
I had two things to do last night—talk with my wife on the phone about the next steps in this painful process, and taking my cat to the vet for her annual check-up (in which a cat would argue is the more painful of the two).
I had neglected to take my cat in last year for her exam, because my wife and I had been living apart for the past year, and I had always used her assistance in that task. But the last year I have found myself learning to take charge and do things on my own whereas I would have relied upon her to help me out or do completely. Now, it seemed that the only one I could truly rely upon in these circumstances was God to grant me the ability to achieve it.
The first task of the evening I was more reluctant to do. This required courage on my part to trust God. The second task required courage on my cat’s part to trust me. I found myself praying for these things as my cat walked into the kitchen and sat by her cage. It was in that moment, that God presented an interesting shift in perspective I hadn’t thought about before…
Whenever I put her in the cat carrier, she doesn’t know where she is going. In fact, she will always resist climbing inside the cage at first, then often times escape—provided she can wiggle out before I lock it. It takes quite a few attempts for me to be able to get her in there securely. But of course, even then, she’ll try to claw at the lock and free herself from her so-called “prison.”
Even though I will keep saying in a soft voice “relax, it’s all going to be okay my dear girl,” she still meows and meows, probably telling me how awful it will be in cat language and how I should let her out of there at once or else. Of course, I know where we are going and how beneficial it will be to her health in the long run…yet in the midst of her crying and complaining, she won’t listen to a word I say. At least, not at first.
Later on, when we arrive at the vet, she will still be scared and curl up into a flat pancake, not wanting to leave the carrier. But usually at the vet’s office and then later, on the ride home, her fears will have subsided a great deal compared to how she would have been earlier. Even though she may not initially know where she is going and the ride there may be turbulent and uncomfortable inside the carrier—when she finally submits to my authority and realizes she is no longer in control of the situation—ah, that is when she begins to trust me. In that moment, she knows that I am leading her to something I know is better for her in the end.
So in the midst of this sudden perspective swing, right in the middle of my prayer, I discovered the uncanny parallel of the evening…I was the cat being put in the cage and led somewhere unknown too!
And so, upon that flash of insight that I believe was Spirit led, I changed my prayer to ask for God to give me courage to trust Him in leading me where He wants me to be. Even though, I may not like the direction I am headed or fearful of the outcome, I know that He is doing it for my own good and His greater glory. I know that something much brighter will come as a result of my submission. So I prayed that He equip me with the strength and courage to trust Him as He grants my cat the strength and courage to trust me that evening too.
GOD PROVIDES WHERE HE GUIDES
Afterwards, my conversation on the phone went better than I expected. And for the first time ever, my cat did not go to the bathroom in the carrier nor on the trip back.
Thank you Lord for allowing us the ability to trust You. Thank you.
*Side note: In case you are wondering, these photos are not of my actual cat, but used just to give you an idea of what she looks like.