Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When He Cometh"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 102:17 – He shall regard the prayers of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer. (NKJV)
How could it be that I had read this verse yesterday — glossed over it, really — and today, the same verse spoke to me poignantly? Today, my prayers were those of the destitute: the tired, the downtrodden, and the humble.
How could it be that I could drive 3,000 miles with God's blessing to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and then lose one of my four cats unloading her in my mother's driveway? Emily and Wally liked the security of sleeping in a carrier in the back of the vehicle, so I took the door off the carrier so that they could go in and out. It could be because I was tired and did not notice that the door was off, but the two cats sprang away. One I caught, but Emily bolted.
People often ask, "Why do you have four cats?" Well, the answer is because God thought that I should have four of them, for each of them was a stray cat that found me. One by one, they showed up on my deck, seeking shelter and food. Emily came to me as an adult. She had been living with me for two years and yet was still wary of strangers, very skittish, and difficult to love.
I went out looking for her later in the day and found her in the neighbour's yard. She hissed and bolted away. As I pursued her, trying to calm her and catch her, she ran further and further away. At last, cornered, she growled, hissed, climbed an eight-foot fence, and disappeared.
How like Emily we may be at times in our journey with Christ. We know that He wants only the best for us and that He will shelter and protect us, yet we strike out at others and at Him, not with claws, but with unbecoming words and actions. How often are we tired and unguarded about our faith, as I was about the preparations to unload the cats? As I prayed for God to take care of Emily, and if it be His will, to return her to me, I was humbled as I thought that God created her and He has taken care of her all along. Whether or not Emily ever comes back to me, I was reminded of the hope in this psalm:
Psalm 27:14 – Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! (NKJV)
We do know that a gentle God pursues us even when we try to escape His loving embrace, and that time spent with Him is precious time that prepares us to face all situations.
Job 1:21b – The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. (NKJV)
Prayer: Dear Lord, please help all those today who are running away from Your protective love. Help us to hear Your call to love the unlovable in society as You love us. Amen.
P.S. In answer to my many prayers, after 25 days, Emily returned, amazingly allowed herself to be petted, and willingly entered her carrier. Our God is a great God!