The day finally arrived!! Sophie had been counting down the days until her 12th birthday…Last year about this time last year our 12-year-old cat, Gracie, died. Sophie had loved that cat, she had carried her around like a baby. Gracie would just let her do whatever she wanted to her,dress her up, put glasses on her, it didn’t matter Gracie was all in. So, when she died it was particularly hard on Sophie. Sophie couldn’t remember a time without Gracie in her life.
However, since we had just moved to the farm when Gracie died we made a deal with Sophie, 1 year, give us 1 year to get situated on the farm and then for your birthday you can get 2 kittens. Yes-2!!
Sophie waited all year, never for a moment forgetting the plan we had made to get kittens. She was preparing her heart to love these kittens. She was already making plans for her and these kittens, adventures they would go on, things they would play, ways she could lavish them with love and affection. It was all part of the plan. She even had a shopping list prepared of items she felt they would need to be comfortable here at their new home.
So you can imagine the excitement that was building inside of Sophie! Finally, the day had arrived! We were going to visit what could possibly be the ones! I knew the moment she saw them her heart would melt. How could it not, I mean, she already loved these kittens. She had planned a beautiful life for her and the kittens to enjoy.
As soon as we got out of the car and spotted the first kitten her face lit up. There it was! Then another came out and another and another! Now choices needed to be made, and she carefully considered the color and temperament of each kitten. Did she want a fluffy one or a silky one or maybe a striped one. Ultimately, I think I could have randomly handed her 2 of any of the kittens and she would have accepted them as her own because she already loved it no matter what.
Decision made- Sophie chose well and we brought home 2 of the cutest little kittens! One fluffy one named Button and one short-haired striped kitten named Teega. I am telling you they are super cute!! You just want to hold them and cuddle them and never let them go!
Here’s the interesting part, as much as Sophie already loved those kittens, the kittens were scared. They just weren’t so sure about Sophie. Sophie tried to hold them and cuddle them, but to her dismay they didn’t want any part of that. They scratched and whined and cried to be left alone. Sophie’s unconditional love was being rejected because those little kittens weren’t able to receive the love Sophie was offering, they were afraid.
As I watched Sophie reach out over and over to those fearful kittens I began to see a parallel of our own lives at times and how fear can keep us from receiving what God desires to bring into our lives.
You may be surprised to know that “fear not” or “do not be afraid” appears 365 times in the Bible. 365!! That’s a reminder for everyday of the year, in your situation, to not be afraid. God’s got a plan, He loves you unconditionally, He’s already laid out a path for you to follow, but you’ve got to let go just a little and receive what God desires to bring into your life. We’ve all been in uncertain and scary situations where we feel like we can’t trust anyone, but God isn’t an anyone. He created you!! Honestly, you can fact check me on this one, He breathed life in to your lungs. He loves you!!
You know, it took some time…After getting the kittens, Sophie went to bed the first night a little disappointed and feeling a little abused by those little cuties because they were too afraid to let her love them. So in turn, she got a little scratched up, literally. I had to remind her of how scared they probably were and to give them some time to see that she wasn’t going anywhere. That the love she had for them wasn’t changing.
I think God probably has the same kind of conversations with Jesus. Jesus is like, “can’t they see how much I love them” and God says, “just be patient”, and Jesus just keeps offering His unconditional love waiting for us to receive what He’s giving. Because Jesus has made plans for you. He’s laid out adventures for you to go on with Him, but it has to start with us letting go of fear. People disappoint, but that is not God’s character.
Let me pray for you…“Father, creator of everything, you knew in our creation we would have to overcome fear. So I’m asking you to help us see that you are good and that your love surpasses all other kinds of love. Lead us step by step, take us as a parent takes a child by the hand towards the path and plan you have for us. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.Is. 41:10