Biblical Truths I Learned From My Cats: Take A Time Out

It amuses me what God sometimes uses to teach us lessons. Lately, it seems my four cats (and others in my life) have been the source of a few biblical truths.


Take A Time Out

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Psalm 91:4 NIV


Max_hidingOne of my male cats is an eighteen-pound, long haired mountain of fluff. He’s by far the biggest, but he’s also the shyest. Max was attacked by a wolf/dog hybrid as a kitten, and while he’s affectionate with us, he is somewhat skittish when it comes to loud noises and strangers. When the doorbell rings, he will fly up the stairs to hide. His favorite place is under my bed, a place he feels secure. After a while, he might venture out to see who is here, but only after he has taken some time in his little refuge to calm down, assess the situation, and determine it’s safe to do so.

Life is often a series of sudden twist and turns. Something as simple as a phone call (or an unexpected visitor ringing the doorbell) can change everything. The abrupt whirlwind that often follows can be very disconcerting, but we don’t have to let the whims of the world blow us this way and that. We may not be able to run and hide under a bed when the doorbell rings, but we can turn to our God, and like a mother bird protects her offspring from a sudden storm by sheltering them under her wings, we can know that He will always provide a place of refuge for us.

Psalm 91:4 promises that His faithfulness will be both a shield and a rampart. A shield is designed to protect a warrior in battle. A rampart is a defensive wall, usually around a stronghold, like a castle or fort. When life’s storms rage around you and the world’s enemies relentlessly attack, your God has your back. Not only does He promise to protect you in one-on-one combat, he offers a sanctuary from the battle, a wall behind which you can retreat to regroup, rest, and evaluate your next move.

Next time your paradigm is unexpectedly shifted, take Him up on that promise. Enter into His refuge. Let His faithfulness provide the shelter you need. He’s waiting, with wings wide open.



Biblical Truths I Learned From My Cats: Seeking Attention

It amuses me what God sometimes uses to teach us lessons. Lately, it seems my four cats (and others in my life) have been the source of a few biblical truths.


Seeking Attention

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? 

John 5:44, NIV


LunaLuna is my only female cat. She has taken it on herself to be “mama” to my other cats, every kitten we foster, and us, as well. Like many cats, Luna likes to bring us her kills. Since she is an inside cat, her “kills” are usually things like a cat toy (she’s really fond of using her Jedi skills to take down Darth Vader mouse), a hair tie, or even a pair of folded socks. This isn’t unusual for a cat, but Luna has one funny habit I’ve never seen in a cat before. She announces her kills. When she brings something, she doesn’t just leave it for us. She cries and howls at the top of her lungs, walking around with her kill in her mouth until we respond. She insists that we acknowledge her accomplishment, and will persist until we do. We must say, “Thank you, Luna.” Any other response will not cause her to stop. We’ve tried everything from ignoring her to telling her to be quiet, but only thanking her will make her quiet down.

In some ways, we’re all like that. Don’t we all want acknowledgement when we do something? Don’t we all appreciate a pat on the back for a job well done, or a verbal hat-tip when we’ve accomplished something? Social media has taken this to a new level. We post everything from our kids’ grades to photos of our food in a fancy restaurant. How many people post selfies, trying to get “likes” and comments?  How many times do we get frustrated when people don’t notice something we posted? When no one seems to notice our accomplishments? When no one thanks us for something we’ve done?

We all want to be noticed. We all want affirmation. Relying on other people for it will often result in disappointment.  So here’s the thing. There’s a God in heaven who knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows everything about you. And He loves you, so much that He sent his own son to die for you. You don’t need the acknowledgement of a single human being, because your Father in heaven acknowledged you, loved you, and forgave you, before you were ever born.

Don’t concern yourself with who liked your selfie, or who commented on your latest post. Instead, look to the God who created you and loves you. He will never disappoint you!



Bring on the Glory

“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

John 15:8

fruit_of_the_spirit_BLUE_GREENSWhat is your goal? I mean, what is the end game for you? I know at the end of my life, I want to stand before the Lord and hear Him say, “Well done.”

I also know I fall short of this every single day. I know I want to show myself to be His disciple, and I want to show His love to everyone I meet. But I know I don’t. I know I can be testy, irritable, impatient, and unkind. I know when I’m overwhelmed and frustrated and busy – in need of pruning.  I don’t exhibit the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, forbearance, gentleness and self-control.

This fruit that Jesus talks about in John 15 is never specified in this chapter as the same fruit Paul mentions in Galatians, but the word “fruit” is used in both instances. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think Jesus meant those traits when he said that bearing much fruit would show us to be His disciples and bring glory to His Father. Jesus tells us that if we allow the “Gardener” to prune us, and we remain in Him, the True Vine, this fruit will be produced in our lives, bringing glory to our God.

After all, that is what we were created for. To worship and bring glory to God. Isaiah 43:6-7 (NIV) reads: “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

You were not a cosmic accident. You were not a random mass of cells that somehow formed a human. You were created on purpose, for a purpose. You were created by God to bring Him glory. Allow Him to prune you. Remain in Him. Wait for Him. Rely on Him as your source. Exhibit His fruit in your life so that you may bring Him glory and one day hear, “Well done.”

Remaining in Him,