The following is my electronic newsletter article for this week, which you might enjoy.
I took this photo of our cat, Peanut, yesterday and posted it on Facebook.
My whole family adores Peanut, and why not? He’s practically perfect in every way, as you can see.
He’s also a large cat—some might even accuse him of being fat. I prefer “big-boned.” But inasmuch as he is fat, it’s because he’s trained us to stop whatever we’re in the middle of, go upstairs, and fill his food bowl. Right away!
He’s very manipulative about it, too: When the food bowl is empty, you see, that’s when he becomes most affectionate—constantly rubbing up against our legs, purring loudly, jumping in our laps, meowing. He’s learned that if he just acts like he loves and cares for us, we’ll give him what he wants.
One thing is for sure: He doesn’t take “no” for an answer. He’s patient. He’s persistent. He doesn’t give up.
I joked with a friend that since we always do Peanut’s bidding, it’s as if we’re his pets!
But I will say this for him: He lives a life of total dependence on us. He doesn’t even go outside anymore (since moving to our current neighborhood). So he can’t hunt birds, squirrels, lizards, chipmunks, mice, moles, and whatever else these little killing machines like to eat. His only source of food is Cat Chow, which is in a large container with a lid on it that he can’t open—since he has no opposable thumbs.
So he needs us. And he knows he needs us. He never worries about where his next meal comes from—or even whether he’ll have a meal at all. He’s lived for nine years this way, and he’s never gone hungry, even once—which is obvious when you look at him.
The life of Peanut is a real-life parable for us in our relationship with God. No, we don’t manipulate God into doing our bidding—by any means! But we are assured, from the words of our Lord, that our heavenly Father is always faithful to give us, his children, what we need (Matthew 6:33; Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:13). So, like Peanut, we don’t have to worry.
And, as both Jesus and the rest of scripture teach us, our Father will also respond to us in prayer—giving us, where possible, what we ask for. And, like Peanut, our Lord teaches us to be persistent (Luke 11:5-8; Luke 18:1-8).
We used to have a veterinarian, Dr. Reese, who is a Christian. He understands that his life’s work is also a ministry. He bears witness to Christ’s love whenever he talks to his customers. At least his human customers.
On a few occasions, we asked him for advice or guidance about our pets’ behavior. He would always preface his words by saying, “First of all, he’s a perfect cat (or dog), doing exactly what God created him to do…”
By contrast, of course, we humans are the ones who are often far from perfect, who rebel against God, who sin.
Let’s pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can live in a loving, trusting, dependent relationship with our heavenly Father—the same kind of relationship that Peanut has with us!