I had a friend that used to say, “I’m God’s cat.” He would say it in an air of disappointment, in a voice of defeat, and he made it very clear what he meant. “It’s like EVERY time I get something good …God waits until I’m practically holding it in my hands, assured that its mine and He snatches it back.” I always got sad when I heard this. God is not like that.
I have suffered disappointments and heartache in my life. I have been disillusioned and deceived. I have been hopeful only to face to a heart wrenching outcome. But, I would never be so selfish as to say “I’m God’s cat.” That’s a very self-seeking statement, because it indicates that you know best.
God is not a snatcher. He doesn’t lure or entice. He doesn’t invite us in so He can slam the door in our faces. No, my brother, you’re not God’s cat…you’re the devil’s mouse.
I cannot remember a single moment in God’s Word where that character of God expresses itself. I see a just God, a kind God, a patient God, a righteous God, a loving God, a forgiving God, a merciful God…not a mean God. Ever. Even when we are deserving of meanness and unforgiveness and wrath and anger and all those other things, He still meets us with grace. He doesn’t dangle it in front of our faces until we leap, and then jerk it away…He continually offers it. Scarred hands open, arms wide, yearning for us to accept.
No. We are not God’s cats.
I prefer to say that I’m God’s dog. It makes far more sense to me.
Four months ago we adopted the sweetest little puppy. That’s a story in and of itself, but it took exactly one minute for us to fall in love with her. She’s precious…and of course then she only weighed about two pounds, so she was fragile and tiny. She was too little to do much else than eat and sleep, and pounce every so often at bugs so small we couldn’t see them. Immediately she added light to a very dark time in our hearts. We all did our part loving her and protecting her and caring for her needs, but when she was tired out or felt afraid or needed space…she came to me. I would scoop her up in my lap, nuzzle her little nose to my face, coo at her and talk to her, or pet her and let her rest on my chest to listen to the thumping of my heart, and she would be soothed. As she grew her needs changed. She was more independent, more feisty. Knowing I was standing beside her or behind her she would venture out on her own more, barking at neighbors she saw as threats, jumping higher, and becoming more brave and courageous with each passing day. She’s growing still.
One day, as I was cooking she stood by the stove, watching me at work, smelling my creation, but she didn’t whine or beg she simply watched (and licked her chops from time to time!) After the family ate, I reached down and handed her a meat laden pork chop bone. If you can say that a dog is thrilled about something, this dog was thrilled! She took that bone and carried it to her corner and gnawed it dry. She knew that she had been given a real treat. She was thankful for it. Cherished it. And even now, has it hidden in the house.
I think that’s more how we are with God and how God is with us.
He loves us and protects us and nurtures us and provides. When we are weak, He is especially attentive, just waiting for the moment when we crumble and finally allow Him to lift us up. When we are tired or afraid, we have only to look for Him and He is there, scooping us up and placing us on His chest so that we can hear the heartbeat of life as it beats in Him. He is our hiding place. In that place, He comforts us and reassures us that we are His and that He has us safe.
As we grow stronger, He gives us that space, allowing us to explore our world, face our enemies, and find the courage to be brave. All the while, He stands beside us. We watch Him, as He is our Master. And, as we watch, we understand that He is up to something good. He sees our obedience and our hunger and so He lets us enjoy it, not faking us out with a pretend game of fetch. He intentionally hands that gift over and watches us happily devour it, savoring each bite, until there is nothing left but the memory of it, and so we hide it away. He loves that!
But here is the thing, we are adopted not as cats or dogs, but we are adopted CHILDREN of the living God. Not abused or neglected children but nurtured and protected. Unlike me, when His children get up at two in the morning calling Him, He doesn’t mumble and complain. He leaps and runs to help us! With Him there is no menial task, there is no passing glance, no dangling or snatching. He loves us. Those that run and jump in His almighty lap yapping and begging (like me) and those that have been hurt so many times, they’d rather disappear in the colors of His robe; Daddy loves us all.