Monday, December 31, 2012

Why kittens and sheep have so much in common.

Luke 1:78-79
Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God's Sunrise will break in upon us,
Shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death,
Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.
My family and I spent this past weekend camping at a deer lease with some friends.
It was relaxing to be out in the middle of practically nowhere,
 with the quiet of the trees and the sounds of nature,
especially after the busyness of the Christmas holiday.
We came home yesterday afternoon to something we did not expect.
Our momma cat had 3 kittens this past Thursday.
As I approached her and her little ones after we got home,
I noticed that one wasn't moving.
We did what we could,
but without any luck...
the little guy didn't make it.
Being a family full of animal lovers,
we were all very saddened.
We weren't sure what happened to it or why it died so suddenly.
It didn't matter to us really, we were just sad that it was gone.
We then noticed that the smallest kitten wasn't eating well and looked weak.
My son, the future Zoologist, looked at me with his little sad eyes and said,
"Aren't we going to do something to save this one Mom? We have to save her Mom, whatever it takes."
 In the fear of the same thing happening again,
we decided to begin giving supplements to the small kitten by bottle feeding her.
Little did I know,
that this would be an all night job.
Baby kittens eat quite often at their own disposal,
having a 24 hour buffet at their hands.
We had to begin feeding her every 2 hours around the clock.
(When I say we, I mean me.)
I set my clock to wake up with her every couple of hours and feed her as much as her little tummy could hold...
and each time she began to get a little stronger.
At first, she didn't trust me much and wiggled and squirmed to get away from me.
She would meow this little pathetic noise trying to call out for help.
Even in her weakness,
 she exhausted herself trying to fight me when I was only trying to help her.
In the early morning hours,
about the fourth time I woke up to feed her...
she nestled close to me and began to purr softly.
She didn't fight me and had figured out that I wasn't trying to hurt her,
 but help her.
She quickly latched on to the bottle and began to eat as though her life depended on it.
At one point she grabbed the cap of the bottle with her tiny little paws and let out a great big breath,
as to say...
"Okay, I give up."
You are probably wondering where this post is going right about now.
I do have a point.
As I sat with the little kitten last night,
I thought of how much the little kitten represented us as God's sheep.
My daughter gave a small piece of her testimony at a benefit concert a couple of weeks ago.
She spoke on how lost she was at one point in her life,
and how God searched her out.
She said something that has been on my heart ever since,
"God will go after you no matter where you are. It doesn't matter why you are lost or why you are broken, it just matters that you are. He doesn't care about the details of why you are lost, just that you are. He will go after you and do no matter what it takes to bring you back to Himself."
In the lyrics of a song my daughter wrote and sang that night,
 it says...
It doesn't matter what you say.
It doesn't matter what walls you build.
He comes to purify.
He comes to fill.
He goes after the one.
He goes after the one.
Father, Spirit, Son,
He goes after the one.
Don't doubt His love for you,
because He will run after the one.
Luke 15:3-7
Then Jesus told them this parable:
  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent."
The thing I thought of in the middle of the night was how we fight Him when He comes after us.
We wiggle and we squirm to get away from Him,
thinking that He is going to harm us or change us.
Even in our weakness, we exhaust ourselves trying to fight Him,
when He is only trying to help us.
To strengthen us.
Maybe we don't trust what we don't know.
Maybe His love is something we have never felt before and the foreignty of it scares us.
Maybe, just maybe...
we don't feel worthy of the life He comes to bring.
Maybe the thought of surrendering,
makes us think we lose something in the process.
The thing is...
He doesn't come to change us,
He comes to make us new.
He comes to make us better.
He comes to give, not to take.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
 The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
He comes to purify. He comes to fill.
He doesn't wait until we leave our brokenness or the place where we are lost, 
He meets us smack dab in the middle of it,
healing us within it.
Psalm 40:2-3
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.  
He shows us His beauty in the midst of it all.
Just like that little kitten...
or the lost sheep...
He will do anything to save just one,
whatever it takes.

His LOVE for you is steadfast.
I don't know where you are as this year comes to an end,
but wherever you are...
no matter how near or far,
when He comes after you,
latch on to Him as though your life depended on it.
Don't doubt His love for you,
because He will run after the one.
John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
 I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Psalm 40:4-12
    Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders you have done. The things you planned for us no one can recount to you; were I to speak and tell of them, they would be too many to declare.  Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but my ears you have pierced; burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.    Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-- it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart."

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