Thomas, my cat, returns to center stage again today. I continue to learn so much from him. Last week, I heard that pathetic “mew” at the door, signaling that he wanted in. One look at that poor gray heap on the doorstep told the tale. He had been in a catfight. The air was chilly with the coming of winter, so I helped the poor guy in. My heart goes out to him every time this happens.
As I tried to clean the mud from of him with a towel, my thoughts turned to more spiritual applications. I love this cat, and I really want him to be in with me, particularly in the cold and forbidding months of winter. In here, he has food and water, unfrozen of course. He can have a nice warm place by the heater, and he can sleep on a nice pillow and dream whatever nice dreams a cat might entertain.
All of this is offered freely to him, and he genuinely seems glad to accept it . . . at his convenience. Every so often, the “call of the wild” comes upon him and he complains until he can go back to his outside world. That is where the problems begin. The outside is appealing but filled with danger. It is filled with unpleasant confrontations with other territorial cats who want his space.
He is literally torn between two conflicting worlds, one good, and one evil. You and I are faced with this same battle every day. The forces opposed to God’s kingdom of grace and peace are continually offering the enticing tidbits of this world. When we go out to receive the fruits of our decisions, we often limp home battered and bruised. Too many, there seems to be no alternative to this existence. God has given us another option.
God offers us another plan for existence, and he longs to bring us into it, just as He brought Noah, his family, and all of the animals into the Ark. Inside with God there is peace and safety. There is provision for all that we need and the assurance of eternity with Him. It is a place bathed in the warmth of His love and caring. However, we have to choose daily which world we want. We are often tossed about by the storms of indecision.
Like Thomas, some days we choose the wild side, the fallen world with all of its allurements. When we do, we suffer the consequences. Jesus invites us to come in from the cold, cruel world with these words: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Why not take Him up on His offer again today?
Pastor Matthew Andrew