When our son and his wife arrived for a Christmas visit with their dog, Sammy, the unsuspecting canine was immediately greeted by our kitty with a hiss and claws, slap on the nose. Cola Cat has never shared her domain with anything but humans and like most felines, considers herself queen of her kingdom.
She has free reign in the house to come, go and be wherever she pleases but right now, Cola is a very unhappy kitty indeed. Since the dog showed up, she has planted herself on top of the book shelf in the office for hours at a time, hardly coming down to eat. Her life has been put on hold, paralyzed by fear and uncertainty.
Whenever Sammy comes into view Cola’s ears flatten and her eyes dilate to round dark discs as she glares at him with fear and contempt from her high perch. Her limited assessment of Sammy convinces her that he is big, dangerous and best kept at a distance. She doesn’t see him as we do, as one of the mellowest and quietest dogs we have ever met. He watches Cola with tail wagging longing, like a kid who wants to make friends but isn’t allowed in the neighborhood club house.
As I observe this, I consider all the times humans see God as someone threatening, someone to tolerate or even fear. We face loss, hurt or a hard place and suddenly God is blamed. Our safe and secure little spot in the world is disrupted and we are angry, disillusioned and afraid so we pull away while God waits with longing for us to trust more, to lean harder, to love deeper.
I doubt our sulking kitty will understand, before Sammy goes back home, that she missed a potential opportunity to make a new friend, but I am certain that I don’t want to be like her;cowering, withdrawn and sullen, into the corners of my life whenever things don’t go my way. If I define God’s character based on my circumstances, I will see Him as unjust and distant instead of someone who waits with a longing heart and loving arms for me to come close and find the comfort and friendship He alone can give.
Jesus invites us to “Come to Me..for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and..find rest for your soul” (Matthew 11:28-29). Today, I release all fear, all disdain. I choose to come close to Him and discover all my soul longs for.
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.