I had and still have a cat called Scout but for the past nine months or so I‘ve been taming two wild cats. Sugar is a beautiful calico tortoiseshell and Shimmer is so named because she is black with a shimmer of tortoiseshell. They are inseparable friends.
At first I fed them just outside the door, then, inside the door. When I feed them they are more than happy for me to lean over their bowls as they eat and talk to them. After a few weeks they would sleep on a cushion on a box near my armchair in the lounge. Shortly after they discovered my bed and soon slept on it. Now they sleep from shortly after their 4pm feed until I unlock the front door at about 7am. I leave the door open all day. I have no TV or anything else to steal and the neighbours in my units are out almost all day talking nearby. On cold, rainy days the cats spend almost 24 hours in my house and have learned to use the litter tray.
I really believe the cats do, in their own little way, love me. Sugar has three times run down the path to meet me when I’ve come home, rolling around in ecstasy when she gets to me. Shimmer will purr for 10 to 15 minutes when she gets on the bed. For the first time, a few mornings ago, I woke to find her lying on my stomach and once before she curled up on my lap for about half-an-hour while I sat in my chair.
At first the cats leaped down for five minutes or so each time I got up from my bed for any reason, but now they aren’t even disturbed.
There is a point to all this information. The cats trust me—up to a point! It’s Sugar I want to tell you about. In spite of nine months of nurturing, feeding, protecting and showing that I love her and would never hurt her, she will move a metre or two to a “safe” place if I walk close by her. It breaks my heart!
It made me think of myself. How God’s heart must break when, in spite of showering me with abundant evidences of His love, care, protection and interest in my wellbeing, I don’t trust Him fully. He has given me the Bible with countless stories of His infinite power to solve situations when a human solution to a problem is not possible to see.
I always thought I had perfect trust in God, but in the past year or two, He has brought me into a situation where I can see no human solution. It is very important to stress that I am only facing this through following God’s clear leading step by step. Many times God has rebuked me through His still small voice in my prayers because my trust in Him is not absolute. Like Sugar, I trust Him—up to a point! But I wait and worry and stress because the months go by and He has still not completely solved my problem. Many times He has brought me to partial answers, and I have no reason to believe in the end there won’t be a complete solution, but as I said, I stress and worry in the meantime.
Maybe you can’t identify with me—maybe you think as I did, that you have perfect trust! In my devotional reading last week I came across the following paragraphs that mean a lot to me.
“God sends trials to prove who will stand faithful under temptation. He brings all into trying positions to see if they will trust in a power out of and above themselves. Everyone has undiscovered traits of character that must come to light through trial. God allows those who are self-sufficient to be sorely tempted that they may understand their helplessness.
“When trials come to us; when we see before us, not an increase of prosperity, but a pressure necessitating sacrifice on the part of all, how shall we receive Satan’s insinuation that we are to have a very hard time? If we listen to his sug-gestions, unbelief in God will spring up. . . we should gather up the evidences of Heaven’s blessings, the tokens for good, saying ‘Lord we believe in thee’” (Testimonies 7, pp 210,211).
Over the past few weeks many times I have found myself singing the words of a beautiful old hymn (Hymn 501, SDA Hymnal). They give me hope and courage. If you have cares and problems you can’t fully trust God to solve, I pray that they will help you as you cast every care on Jesus and wait until He brings you through triumphantly in total dependence on Him. Verse 2: “‘Tis the blessed hour of prayer, when the Saviour draws near, With a tender compassion His children to hear; When He tells us we may cast at His feet every care.“
Shirley Evans is a carer, with two daughters and a son-in-law. She lives in Sydney, NSW.