As I’ve written before, I’m a girl who likes to know what’s coming next. I don’t like waiting and I don’t like uncertainty. Honestly, I don’t know anyone who does. Impatience is pretty much a universal human condition, wouldn’t you say?
Lately things around my house have been uncertain to the extreme.
We have a dearly loved cat who has chronic health problems. We recently learned that he will be on medication and prescription food for the rest of his life. He was already high-maintenance even without the addition of meds and special food. But our middle daughter LOVES that cat, and he’s a sweet boy (for the most part) so we’re committed to dealing with the medication and food for the next few years.
A few days ago I noticed that Elvis (yes, that’s his name) was looking a little scruffy. His food was going untouched. He was not grooming himself and he was “leaving his mark” in the house in places other than his litter box. This is not good for many reasons, one of which is that we just sold this house (which I will cover in the next post) and also because hello, the smell. And I don’t think I can take the sadness of my teenager if something happens to this cat.
I did some research (what did we do before Google??) and started taking some steps to help him recover. I already knew from what the vet told us a couple of weeks ago that a recurrence could be the end for Elvis because there was nothing else they could do. I also started preparing my teen for the possibility that Elvis might not make it. The whole house went into Cat Watch status.
And I prayed. Listen, if you don’t think God cares about the details, you are dead wrong. Nothing escapes Him. If we care, then He cares, because He loves us.
Then I walked through the uncertainty. Or more accurately, I wallowed, crawled, and moaned through the uncertainty. I did what I could do and I prayed for God to do what only He could do, and I waited. Have I already mentioned how bad I am at waiting? Because I am.
It seems like such a petty thing, to pray for a cat’s health, yet I believe God cares because we do. My middle girl has been through a lot of changes in the past year: moving to a new state and trying to adjust to a new school (and struggling), along with normal teenaged hormonal changes. I cannot imagine the blow to her fragile and still developing sense of stability if she lost her furry companion. But I also knew that if God allowed it to happen, He would get us through it somehow.
So for the last few days I’ve been walking the tightrope of okay/not okay and trying to prepare for every eventuality, although there’s no way to really do that. I’ve been a bundle of nerves, all over a cat! And I think that while I’ve prayed for God to intervene, I haven’t allowed myself to actually believe that He would.
I watched IF:Gathering online in February and near the end, the speaker asked everyone to take a rock and write on it a word God had impressed upon them. Ever since then I (along with some sweet IF:Voxer sisters – you guys know who you are, and I love you) have been challenging myself to really believe God.
Believe that He is good.
Believe that He is for me and my good.
Believe that He is who He says He is, and His word is true.
Believe that He answers prayer.
Because I go to Him in prayer with all my concerns and then I’m surprised when He answers. Why is that? Am I missing something critical in my spiritual development? A sense of expectancy, perhaps?
Ultimately, I think there is a part of me that feels undeserving. If I was truly deserving then it would be some kind of earned justice and not grace (unmerited favor) when God sends blessings my way. I also have a hard time sometimes seeing God as a loving Father who wants the best for me. These are things I’m working on, and like the father of the possessed boy in Mark 9, I say, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief!”
I want to be the kind of person who prays about a problem or concern and waits expectantly, knowing God will answer and that His answer will be for her good, whether the answer is “yes”, “no”, or “not now”. But I’ve also been so disappointed by people in the past that it blurs my view of my Father, and that’s not fair to Him. And in the end, even though what I was walking through was painful at the time, all those experiences have formed me into the person I am now and I can honestly look you in the eye and tell you God worked things out for my good (Romans 8:28).
And speaking of good things, I’m happy to report that Elvis the kitty is showing positive signs of improvement. I think he’s going to be just fine. Now if we could just find a house to live in…. (to be continued)