"Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones." Proverbs 3:7-8
Cats are funny creatures. I've always been a dog person - the little fru-fru lap dog type. I had a Shih Tzu when I was growing up and that's the kind of dog we have now. Bo is my baby. He is totally dependent on me. He follows me around all over the house. In fact, he is sitting at my feet under my desk as I type this right now.
My cat Spooky showed up at our house almost a year ago. She is black with big, greenish moonlike eyes and she will startle you when you least expect it. She is dark and quiet and suddenly appears when you don't know she's around. And since she showed up last fall we gave her the very original name of Spooky.
Spooky is much different than Bo. In fact Bo is more like a scaredy cat when she is around. She enjoys hiding and then jumping out to surprise Bo. It's fun for her! Of course, then Bo runs behind my legs!
She also walks around the house like she owns the place. Not surprising that a cat would act that way. They are known for acting as though they are better than humans and they think it is our job to serve them. And we do. At least I do.
This once upon a time stray cat that someone apparently set out near our home out in the country hit the jack pot! She was hungry and skin and bones. I couldn't turn her away. I told her that she picked the right day to show up at our house because I had spotted a mouse inside earlier that morning and had just commented to my husband that we needed a cat. Seriously though, God cares for animals and I do believe it was His plan to guide her to us because he softened our hearts toward her and we took her in. And quickly grew to love her!
However, she was originally supposed to stay outside only. Then the weather turned colder and we let her in the garage. Then she began jumping on top of our vehicles so every night I cover them up with old quilts and comforters. I'm sure she thinks I do it merely for her comfort!
Next, we began to let her come inside to get warm and before you knew it she had begun pouncing on top of our bed to snuggle. Hmmm. Smart cat!
She is smart. But she still makes mistakes. And yesterday morning she made a bad one. Because these days she is enjoying her life of luxury too much to bother chasing mice around, we still use sticky pads in inconspicuous places. And unfortunately she happened upon one of those places!
All of a sudden I heard her meowing and streaking through the house with a sticky pad stuck to her side near her hind leg. I caught her and carried her outside in the grass with a bottle of Crisco oil...something oily to unstick the pad from her fur. Poor thing!
She wasn't too sure about what I was doing. Oh, I think she knew she needed my help, but after the first slosh of oil on her body she was running from me again. When I tried a second time to approach her, she hissed at me. She NEVER hisses at me unless she's in pain. I cornered her and continued pouring the Crisco on her until the sticky pad unattached easily so as not to pull her hair.
Then I scooped her up and carried her back inside the garage. I knew I had to get the oil off of her and I remembered the Dawn dishwashing liquid commercial about how Dawn was used to help the animals that are rescued in oil spills, etc. So, you guessed it, I prepared a pitcher of warm water with Dawn and put Spooky in my bathtub where I proceeded to pour the suds on the dark, oily feline.
You should have seen her scramble! She was so mad at me that she hid under the sofa in the kid's playroom for at least an hour!
She is much better now. While her fur still looks a little greasy, she is content and back to demonstrating her entitled, princess-like demeanor.
The moral of the story? Her instinct was to run. She was in trouble and in pain. She needed my help to get out of her mess. Just like we need the Lord's help when we are experiencing problems and turmoil. And for me, often times my troubles are self-inflicted - just like poor Spooky.
I have to just stop right here and ask God to forgive me for when I have tried to be "wise in my own eyes." Sometimes I think I've got it all figured out. Whatever it is. Way to often I criticize others for not handling things the way I think they should, or just identifying the faults I see in other people, when I certainly have plenty of shortcomings of my own.
Extending a little more grace is just the prescription I need! The preceeding verses, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
I'm choosing today to trust God, not myself. I admit that I do not always know the facts or understand what another person is carrying. Simply put, I just don't know everything. I need to trust HIM in EVERYTHING! When I struggle on my own, I end up pulling my hair out!
Heal me, Lord Jesus. Bring nourishment to my bones. Forgive me for seeming wise in my own eyes. Help me to love others and show grace to those who may have hurt me. I acknowledge that I do not always know all the details and I want to trust You completely in all of life's situations. Please help me break free from the sticky pads that I get myself into (worry, pride, hurt, disappointment, loneliness, etc.). Pour on me your oil of gladness so that I may live freely with You as my loving Master who always knows best.