My Dad called me the other night to talk about a traumatic experience he had just witnessed. He was driving his ATV to the mailbox, when he heard the faint cry of a small kitten. As he approached the tree line, he found two baby kittens, perched high atop a pine tree. He said he stayed under the tree for almost an hour, trying to coax the kittens into his arms, so he could take them home, feed them, and care for them. With each soft, comforting word, one of the kittens slowly began to trust Dad enough to come down. She was solid grey with bright green eyes, scraggly and scared and wanting comfort. She made her way down to the lowest branch, within reach of my Dad’s arms. As he was gently guiding her, a though crossed his mind, “Oh please little kitten, jump into my arms, not the ground, you will be safer with me.” His dogs had come along for the ATV ride and were going crazy barking and jumping at a chance to sink their teeth into the small kitten. She made her move, and instead of going to Dad, she jumped the other direction, and was instantly attacked. Dad said his bulldog wrapped his jaws around the kitten’s neck and shook her violently. Within seconds, she was dead, and the dogs began to tear away at her little body.
My Dad felt so helpless and guilty for trying to get the kittens down from the tree. He said, “All I wanted to do was take care of them, not have one killed!” I told him that it was ok, and that the kitten made her choice between the dangers of the ground, and his arms. This caused a thought to stir within me. As I tried to comfort my Dad, I said, “You know this makes me think about our relationship with God. We find ourselves ‘up a tree’ sometimes in life, and needing someone to rescue us. All the while, God is waiting, calling for us with his arms opened wide, waiting for us to jump into them. But sadly, we often decide to go the other way, and jump into dangerous situations, while getting ripped apart by the decision to go it alone, without His help.” Dad kind of laughed, and said, “Yep, Leena, I guess you are right about that.”
Where are you today? Have you jumped into your Father’s arms, or have you made the decision to navigate this world without Him? When trials and temptations put you into a corner, do you turn to Him, or to the world? God is the ultimate source of comfort and strength and the very constant that will sustain us in this life and the next. If we choose Him, He will heal us from the damages caused by this world and be our Protector when faced with trials. Psalm 18:2 states: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” I know that so many of us are hurting right now through death, divorce, illness, marital issues, money issues, family troubles, and just the day-to-day temptation to veer off of the path of righteousness. We are over-worked, and over-stressed, and can’t find enough hours in the day to sit down and reflect on Him, talk with Him, and read into His promises through the Word. Take comfort in knowing the Lord will guide you through these things if you allow Him to do so.
He is always there, waiting to give you His divine power to sustain and refresh you, but it is up to you to seek Him out. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8). If we do not seek the Lord, Satan will devour us. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” Satan preys on each and every one of us, aching at the chance to pull us away from salvation. The ones that he cannot gain full access to are the ones who are in the refuge of the Father. We are told to submit ourselves to God. Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you in James 4:7. If we do not submit to the Lord, we are as the kitten, on our own, out in the open, easy prey for the predator.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:27-29