Readings: Isaiah 43:1-7, Romans 6:1-11, Luke 3:15-22

Hiding from the Big Things

Sweet old Naughty Cat had to spend a few days in her room because our daughter and son-in-law brought their two German Shepherds to our house for Christmas. Those two big pups were too eager to play with the old cat and we tried to keep her safe. She accidentally met them twice. Once she squeezed out of the room when we cracked the door open to slip in and get something. Of course, one of the dogs had been “guarding” us from the animal she could smell behind the door and was right there when Naughty Cat made her daring escape. She flattened herself on the floor, puffed up her whole body and hissed. Kevin grabbed her before the dog could, and she was so startled that she scratched him up. I respond like Naughty Cat sometimes. I’m comfortable in my life, then surprise, a couple big things move in and I try to make accommodations and hope they go away. I might get brave and try to escape the situation for a time, then get startled by the big reality that’s waiting just outside the accommodation door. Like the frightened cat, I can scratch and hiss at the situation, and even at the Lord until I realize He is trying to protect me. Poor kitty hid under the bed for hours, and I feel like doing that sometimes too. It’s hard to adjust to big, scary things that appear in life. We kept her safe, the family and the dogs went home, and her comfortable life is back to normal. The big things in my life won’t go away so quickly. You may live with someone in chronic pain, or have it yourself, and it causes so many accommodations to be put in place, then startles you frequently with new issues. We know the Lord is providing, even through the pain, and that is a great blessing that lights our lives with hope. When I’m hissing and flat on the ground, I’m not focused on God’s hope or peace, because I’m feeling fearful and unprotected. Our family is trying to learn that when you feel God is not protecting you from something terrible, you can look for other attributes of the Lord to hang on to. He is with us, He loves us, He is compassionate, He has a plan for eventual good that we cannot see, He is our peace. Is. 43:1 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”  Dear Lord, when our hearts can’t call you Protector or Healer, fill us with the knowledge of You as our Savior, our Redeemer, our Peace and our Strength. -Tracy