As many of you know, I am the mother to two cats. Technically, I am only their step mother as I begrudgingly accepted partial responsibility for these 2 mischievous felines when we got married. My husband in an attempt to preserve my sanity, had built an additional barrier of wire netting at the top of our backyard to allow the cats some time outdoors and me some time indoor without the pitter pattering of curious kitty paws following me around the house.
The extra barrier has worked well until the other day when Jaxon’s natural curiosity had morphed into outright rebellion as he swatted down the wire netting and escaped over our fence.
We found him in the neighbors yard to our right, the next night it was the opposite neighbor’s yard we caught him in. Even the loud barks from the yard directly behind us had not hindered his exploration expedition as we found him there.
Our concern grew, as a friend who lives nearby told us that she had seen Jaxon walking down the sidewalk on a road near our house, apparently Jaxon had been living a double life. House cat by day – con artist by day and night. We had no idea how often he had been roaming the streets and were unsure how to prevent his escape. Jaxon was sentenced to house arrest and not allowed outdoors, until my husband could find a more secure barrier for him.
Jaxon’s distress grew with every passing hour he was not let outside, as did mine. His constant meows and glances of longing out the window panes eventually turned into a continual howl of distress all day long. He listlessly wandered between the front and back door staring at the bars of his prison and yelping with shrieks that probably made our neighbors suspect we were starving him.
Nothing would stop his pathetic and might I add ANNOYING yelps. I tried to reason with my inmate, “Jaxon you could be outside right now, but you have been rebellious and we can’t trust you outside right now, because you may escape and meet a cat knapper or a neighborhood dog bully. Then you would really have something to cry about.”
Finally Jaxon’s day of liberation came, I am not sure who was more excited, me or him. I relished in his house arrest being over for a whole 15 minutes, because that is all it took for Jaxon to yet again tear down the netting at the top of our fence and escape into the neighbor’s yard.
My husband came home to find a half crazed wife, pleading to fix the fence after a long day of enduring meow choruses from both cats whose only entertainment was to chase a fly in our house, and rattle the bars of their prison cell ….. did I say bars?…. I meant the blinds on our windows.
My husband fixed the fence. A sense of peace has flooded the house again, the inmates released and I am still recovering from the steady soundtrack of feline choruses. I used to think living in absolute silence would be torture, I was wrong…. living with absolute meows is torture.
Jaxon’s persistence reminds me of my relationship with God. There are so many times when He tells me No, or I don’t get something I want. And I throw a fit. I mean a week long, human meow fest kind of fit. I gaze out the window at whatever it is I want and I complain to God in my own annoying chorus of “why? Why? WHY?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Over and over again I plead with God, and accuse Him of being mean and withholding something good from me.
I join Eve in the garden looking at the fruit, and I think that I know what is best for me. And that God doesn’t. I think if I don’t have something I want then He is cruel and mean.
I am not a kitty mind reader, but I am pretty sure somewhere between meow and MEOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW! They were saying “hey mean lady, you are cruel and uncompassionate, you are keeping us under house arrest to torture us.” When the truth was I was keeping them in house arrest (and enduring my own torture) because I had their highest good in mind. My kitties can’t understand that the fence wasn’t fixed yet, and that allowing them into the neighbor’s yards and into the streets unsupervised could result in their death or serious injury. It was my…gasp…love for the kitties that kept them locked inside.
My actions were a small reflection of God’s love for me and for all His children.
Often we feel stuck and we look to God to give us something yet we still experience pain or don’t get the breakthrough we long for. We become certain if only we had “that”, that object, that job, that person, that child, that paycheck, that degree, that life – that we would be happy.
But we don’t see what He sees. Some of the things we want could be dangerous , they could lead to our serious harm or even our death – either of our bodies or souls.
I felt this way so often as a single woman. I believed that my desire for marriage was from the Lord, I believed He had promised me that I would get married. Yet, I couldn’t understand why wasn’t it him, or him or even him! Why didn’t he ask me out, why didn’t that work out with that guy? Every wedding invitation, I received in that period of intense longing seemed to confirm what Eve believed, that God didn’t know what He was doing, and He was withholding something good from me.
He would whisper to wait, to trust Him, He would assure me that He was in control and He had the best for me.
Sometimes I believed him, some days I howled like Jaxon, and then I would try to control the situation and take matters into my own hands. That always led to disaster. Regardless of my response, God’s character was unwavering, He was committed to my best, even when I acted like I didn’t want it.
I am so thankful to Him, for His sovereignty, His commitment to my life, His never failing love even when I was a pathetic sniveling mess. In His time, His way, in a way so crazy I couldn’t have imagined, He brought my beloved, my husband and the one I was made to be with.
It was worth all those years of “House arrest” now if only I could make a certain cat understand that…..
What about you – Can you think of a time when you felt God was withholding something good from you only later to realize in His love He was protecting you?