I have recently told the readership of how I am currently housing my late mom’s cat, Dundee, until he can go to his forever home. Meanwhile, we both have a lot of adjusting to do. Me to him, him to me, and although this is going well overall, he doesn’t seem to overly appreciate my attempts at getting him on a healthier diet and helping him lose weight. And I’m not sure he overly approves of my current “craze”…
You see, I have started limiting the amount of dry food this obese cat receives so that he can’t just graze throughout the day. And although I’m giving him a bit more than what is recommended for a cat his size, he is not happy with his portions. He is a bit more inline with my second line of attack. One of the things I did as soon as he came to live with us is I limited his amount of treats. Prior to this, he was living almost exclusively on cat treats. Now he gets a prescribed number morning and evening, and a couple extra here and there if I have to clip his balled fur or put drops in his ears. My newest thing, however, is to make him run and chase his treats. He has to come up beside me and let me pet him, then I throw a treat across the room and he runs off to retrieve it. That way, he gets his treats, he gets a bit of exercise, and his mind is stimulated. This also makes him come to me for a bit of TLC, which I long for.
I threw one this morning where he couldn’t retrieve it. Talk about being cat-distress! Naturally, I retrieved it and threw it again for him; but the look in his eye spoke a pitiful message: “Why are you doing this to me? Why can’t you just give me my treats like my former ‘mama’ used to do?”
Of course, he doesn’t understand my reasoning. He hasn’t a clue that this is all for the improvement of his health. All he can see is that I’m not giving him his treats the way he thinks I should.
This all reminds me of a Christian’s prayer life.
Not following me?
Look at it like this: Most of us go to God with our wishlists and our to-do lists. Some of us are low on our faith; but I believe that many of us truly believe that God will hear and answer our prayers. Nonetheless, the wishes don’t materialize and the to-do list seems to only lengthen. Meanwhile, problems appear, seemingly out of nowhere, and then more seem to mushroom out of those. God, where are You in all this? Didn’t You promise to answer my prayers? Why aren’t You doing it? Why are things only getting worse?
Doesn’t that sound a little like Dundee and the frustration he feels when I make him run after and hunt for his treats? He doesn’t understand my reasons, and he doesn’t even truly believe that he will get them. Nonetheless, he does. Every time. And in the meantime, he gets a bit of exercise.
I don’t know about you, but my faith could use some exercise. God knows this far better than I. Perhaps this is why He doesn’t just hand us what we ask for. Maybe this is why those circumstances are allowed to loom. God wants us to learn that we can trust Him. Period. It doesn’t matter that things seem to be getting worse. God is still in control. He still answers prayers. But sometimes He wants us to exercise our faith! Why? So that our faith will grow and strengthen, thus opening the doors for even more miracles in our lives!
What will you do the next time you pray for something and things only seem to be getting worse? Why not try thanking God for using the opportunity to strength your faith? Why not put your trust in God for the final outcome, no matter what? The end result will be the same. God still answers prayers. But the interim piece will be oh, so much less stressful!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two adult boys, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, The Illustrator, a four-times-a-week internet newsletter, and the Sermon Illustrator website, all with Answers2Prayer Ministries.