We have a cat, Shmoopy (remember the Seinfeld episode when Jerry and his girlfriend kept annoyingly saying, You’re the Shmoopy, No, You’re the Shmoopy). Now, I’m not exactly a pet person… I am not opposed to having pets, it’s just that I’ve never had a pet that has brought me more enjoyment than the burden of caring for it. (My family is trying to talk me into a dog… perhaps I’ll relent and it will finally be the animal to soften my heart towards having pets.) See part of the problem with my cat is she pretty much ignores us all day except when she needs something, like more water, food, the litter cleaned and then she has this annoying meow and wants you to take care of her needs immediately. So really its a relationship based on her wants and needs.
Do you remember the story of Pharoah and Moses? God sent Moses to tell Pharaoh to free the Israelites from slavery to Egypt. Pharoah didn’t want to, so God sent plagues of turning water to blood, frogs, gnats, flies, diseased livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and death of the firstborn. It’s a story I know well and I’ve read several times throughout my life.
My husband, Jeff, has started rereading the Bible chronologically (in historical order). This week he was reading this particular part about Pharaoh (found in Exodus 7-11) and something stood out to him that I thought was worth sharing with you. After the second plague, the frogs, Pharaoh told Moses “Pray to the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the LORD.” Moses did, and God relented on the plague. “But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and would not listen to Moses and Aaron.” This happened again with the flies, the hail, the locusts, the darkness, and even death. While the suffering was on Pharaoh he was repentant and cried out to God. But as soon as it let up, his heart was hardened against God.
I think that happens a lot in our life. When life is pressing in on us through plagues of sickness, financial worries, relationship issues, death, we cry out to God. We pray and ask God to “fix” our problems and comfort us. This is a good thing, it’s what God wants us to do. But the problem is that in the normal day-to-day when we don’t have “plagues” pressing in, our hearts seem to harden and we tend to ignore God.
I’m sure that God desires that we come to him all the time, thanking Him and acknowledging Him even when we don’t seem to “need” Him. Jeff tells me that’s why I’ll like a dog better than a cat. Dogs are loyal to people and desire to please the master. They will sit at their master’s feet all day and wag their tails with delight when the master gives them attention. Cats have no desire to please their master, rather they want their master to please them. So when it comes to God, are you a dog or a cat? Traditionally in my life I think, like Pharaoh, I’ve been a cat… I’m pressing on to be more like a dog.
… Ok, all you cat people out there… I don’t mean to offend you in any way… perhaps the analogy is a stretch, but I think you probably get the point 🙂
♥ Becki, imperfect daughter of God