Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cats Claws versus God's Love

Earlier today I was talking with Sue - a good friend of mine, with regard to my recent conclusions about having to face my past. Despite knowing I've got to go back and face some of my issues over the past, I am reluctant to do it and keep putting it off. While I was talking to Sue, a story from my past bubble to the surface and it proved to be a good analogy of what perhaps lies ahead:

Several years ago, when he was still alive, my mum tried to carry our Tomcat down the stairs. Nothing unusual in that at all... she'd done it countless times before, but this time was different. On that occasion, Mum somehow lost grip... and Tonic took a tumble down the wooden slope.

He was completely unhurt on the outside, but it had given him a nasty scare. From that day onwards, if anyone tried to carry him down the stairs, he would hiss and growl until he was put back down on the floor. He had lost his trust in people's ability to carry him safely.

This went on some time, until I finally resolved to do something. Tonic was sat at the top of the stairs, he wanted to go down but couldn't be bothered. He kept looking up at me wondering what I would do... but we both knew what he would do if I picked him up. Despite this, I knew what I had to do. I reached down and lifted up Tonic.

Sure enough he started hissing and spitting but I hugged him firmly but gently to my chest. I took a step down the stairs and it was then that I felt his claws go in just below my collar bones - OUCH.

I'm not one to give in easily and so I took another step, tighter went the claws. This continued as we went down the staircase... but I carried on regardless. About three quarters of the way down Tonic relaxed his claws and the pain slowly ebbed away. I went back and forth up the stairs several times. Eventually by remaining steadfast, I banished Tonic's fear to a place where it would not come back from... and restored his faith.

I believe God is saying that in my situation, I am just like that cat... and that no matter what nasty scares memory and time have lying in wait for me... they will not overcome me. He will hold me close by as surely as I did with Tonic.... even if it hurts him. As human beings we get emotional, especially when forced to confront something we find unpleasant. However, Christians know that we have a God who is steadfast, faithful and true. It doesn't matter how much our fear causes us to dig our claws in - he loves us all the same. Two thousand years ago, our sin, anger and fear... the things that separate us from God drew Christ's blood out on the cross. It is through that blood, that sacrifice we are saved.

If Christ was willing to bear with us to his very death, over our disobedience... then we can have confidence that he will still bear with us when we suffer and our sinful nature and vulnerability lash out at him because of our obedience.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen." - 1 Peter 5:6-11

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Matthew 11:28-30

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28:18-20

Earlier today, I listened to the U2 track that used to be on my website. Though the whole song is enlightening and relevant - I feel I may have kept you long enough, so I'll just quote a little from it:

Take my hand
You know I'll be there,
If you can I'll cross
The sky for your love
And I understand
These winds and tides,
This change of times
Won't drag you away.
Hold on, hold on tightly,
Hold on and don't let go
Of my love.

The storms will pass
It won't be long now.
The storms will pass
But my love lasts forever.

And take my hand,
You know I'll be there,
If you can I'll cross the sky
For your love.
Give you what I hold dear,
Hold on, hold on tightly.
Hold on, hold on tightly.
Rise up, rise up with wings,
Like eagles you'll run, you'll run.
You'll run and not grow weary.



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