Posts Tagged ‘cats’

Sheltering in the Shadow of His Wings

July 7, 2017

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Birds and animals have featured much in our lives this summer and as a result of this – many little stories with spiritual parallels. There was the robin and the butterfly, baby owls squealing in the night, the pigeon and the cat, the buzzards, the swallows in the porch, the hares on the road, the flitting bats and the house martin and the cat…

A baby house martin, being adventurous, had decided to leave the nest prematurely but had sadly ended up in the mouth of our cat. However, my daughter managed to rescue the little bird and miraculously it survived unharmed! Above is a small photograph of it feeding on greenflies from a leaf picked for it. My husband, on his return from work, climbed a tall ladder, managing to restore it to its nest while the parents were not around. How glad it must have felt to be with other little siblings once more – and subsequently in the shadow of the wings of those who loved and cared for it!

If the Lord can answer prayer for the safety of a little bird – how much more will He do so for those who love Him and call upon His name for safety and deliverance? I am about to take a long journey – a five-hour flight that I am apprehensive about for many reasons but He has given me the words of that beautiful Psalm 91. Recent news reports, both locally, and all across the world make for depressing reading but spiritually speaking I dwell “in the secret place of the most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.” (Verse 1)

Like the little house martin now in his feathery nest, I am safe from the evil one, for I have surrendered myself to a more powerful force who was able to rescue and deliver me when I was powerless to help myself. We live in evil days, when unmentionable, horrific things are happening in our world and sometimes, unfortunately, the Christian succumbs to depression in the face of it all… but “His grace is greater!” Remember, as you venture forth today, whatever perceived ordeal you are facing, the only real safety in this world of ours is “in the shadow of His wings.” If we go our own way, in our own strength; prematurely venturing without His presence in our lives, we face the greatest danger from an evil enemy.

But… “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10v13)

And for those who know and love Him, all the great promises of Psalm 91 are theirs: “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91v4)

“For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.” (Psalm 91v11)

And as we venture on in the Christian life, we have this promise… “He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job23v10)

May the Lord bless and encourage all who read in the days ahead, whatever pain, despondency or challenges you have to face. The answer to it all is to take refuge in the shadow of His wings. “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8v38&39)

The Frightened Little Frog

September 15, 2015

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Having noticed that my blog about a hedgehog had been searched for Sunday schools, I have also been thinking of my many other interesting encounters with animals and insects in the last few years. Since these little stories revealed a spiritual analogy, I thought that it would be a good idea to have a children’s section for these and other stories. The following is the true story of how we rescued a little frog just recently…

The squealing behind our home was strange and high-pitched but where on earth was it coming from? My daughter ran outside to find nothing at all. Then, once more the squealing started up again – and again she went outdoors, this time to discover that our cat was annoying some poor little creature in an area where a lot of rain had gathered. What a “summer” it had been, with rainwater collecting in pools just about everywhere! After grabbing our tabby cat, my daughter put her in the kitchen and we both went out to see what had been so terrified of our cat. Soon we were looking at a lovely little frog which was lodged in a tight place, close to a pipe where a patio area is under construction.

My daughter touched him and he moved slightly, but then, after a while there was no movement at all. “He’s dead. The cat has killed him,” said my daughter in despair, “but maybe he’s just playing dead,” she added optimistically. “I think you’re right,” I whispered, “he’s sitting so still and probably hopes we’ll just go away… but what if the cat gets him when she comes out again?”

“Well, I don’t know how we’ll get him out of there,” said my daughter. “Oh, he’s so slimy; I can’t bear to touch him!” She went back indoors, making sure the cat didn’t get out again, while I picked up a large bucket. Looking at the poor little creature, he hardly moved at all but I just had this feeling that he was definitely ‘playing dead.’ I really needed to get him out of the dangerous situation he was in and so I gently picked him up (with damp cold hands so that I wouldn’t hurt him) and put him in a large bucket with a tiny bit of cold water in it from our outside tap. He didn’t flinch at all, still giving the impression that he was dead.

I have a great love for every little creature I come across and so, as carefully as I could, I carried him away to safety – to a place where I knew in my heart that he would be happy. However, to get to that place I had to walk a long way, climbing through briars, nettles and thistles of all types. After a while when I looked into the bucket, the little frog appeared to want to hop out, but how glad I was when he stayed in that safe container until we reached our destination – a lovely place where there were shady trees, lush green grass and little damp pools. And how happy he was to arrive in this beautiful place – away from the danger of an enemy who had tried to hurt and kill him. Once out, he hopped away into the undergrowth and I felt so joyful to know that he didn’t look any the worse for his encounter with our cat! How glad I was that he had allowed me to pick him up and bring him to that safe place!

On the way back to the house I noticed that I had many cuts, scratches and stings and I was even bleeding in places, all because I wanted so much to make sure that a little creature would arrive safely in a very lovely place where he would be so happy and at home.

Once back at my home, as I bathed my wounds (which were nothing really) I couldn’t help but think of what the dear Lord Jesus went through for me – and for you. His wounds were much more than we have ever suffered and not only that, He went so far as to die – so that we could be safely brought Home to a beautiful place like nothing we have ever seen on this earth. The Bible says “…He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53v5) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Verse 6)

Also – while I rescued a little creature that was innocent and had never done anybody any harm, the Bible says that “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5v8)

Jesus wants to carry us safely through all the dangerous times, the thorny paths and the stinging hurtful times of this life, until we eventually reach a happy land where tears are no more.

Just as I would never have abandoned the little frog in a dry place or in a dangerous place, the Lord will not abandon those who love Him either – and how glad I was that the little frog didn’t get fed up being carried to his happy destination, deciding to jump out and make his own way through the undergrowth! Such a move would have been terrible and could have meant that he would never have reached that beautiful place.

What a faithful Friend the Lord Jesus is that He loved us enough to suffer and die for our sins, so that we could live in Heaven with Him for evermore! The Bible says: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. (1Corinthians 2v9)

My prayer is that you will trust this faithful loving Friend as your Saviour today, so that you can safely walk with Him to journey’s end – to a beautiful Forever where you will be at Home and happy with Him and all the other dear souls who have allowed Him to rescue them from the jaws of the enemy.

Saying Goodbye to “Wish Wish” – a Faithful Loving Friend

October 21, 2013

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I loved her very much, my faithful feline friend whom we named “Wish Wish” at a time when my children were much younger than they are today. Somehow the last few weeks represented a difficult landmark in my life for many reasons and her passing was a symbol of how I felt at the time…

I found Wish Wish abandoned around fifteen years ago as she lay breathing her last amongst other little siblings who lay dead around her. Gently I lifted her and carried her indoors to the heat of the kitchen. For the first few weeks I fed her like a baby. Every few hours night and day she took sustenance from a little dropper until at last she had grown into a beautiful larger kitten. She rewarded us so much for saving her life by being one of the most affectionate pets I have ever known. She would go for a walk with us out the back lane like a little puppy running ahead and indeed she had a long and happy life – but I felt truly bereaved when she died. Driving home from a hospital visit one night after her death I felt the pain of losing her and sorrow deep within my heart.

Wish Wish was no ordinary cat; she knew how to open doors by reaching up to put the handle down, she let us know her needs too, but most of all she was there for me, showing love in most extraordinary ways. Two years ago when my father passed away and I had received other bad news, I sat crying in the chair one night when suddenly I heard her jump on a high stool beside me and then felt her face close to mine, her green eyes staring into mine, her whiskers softly brush off me and then she licked my face. I believe that she knew exactly how I felt.

Wish Wish was brought to the vet some weeks ago where an x-ray revealed a large growth in her stomach. In our dying, polluted and diseased world animals too are suffering…

How I long for that day when there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev.21v1; Isaiah 65v17) – and pain, sorrow, death and crying shall be no more. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes…” (Rev.21v4)

“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.”

“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Romans 8v22) Surely it is as if all of creation is literally in the pains of childbirth, waiting to be delivered from the burden of the curse.

Pain, disease, violence on the earth, dying and sorrow were not how it was meant to be… but thank God that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8v2)

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8v28)

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Romans 8v18)

Sometimes we may feel a strange loneliness in our sorrow, even when surrounded by loved ones… but we shouldn’t, for “there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18v24)

As I was confronted with some very distressing events in my life just recently, many verses from Romans 8 have comforted me… “As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8v36-39)

With these precious promises and multitudes more let us encourage one another as we cast our burdens upon He who loved us and gave Himself for us, for “if God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8v31)

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Homeless in the Bitter Cold of an Irish Winter

December 9, 2010

Last night I heard a pitiful “Meow” and glanced out to see the most beautiful ginger and white cat, his green eyes shining in the icy darkness. I left some food out for him and closed the door again, watching from the kitchen window to see that he licked the plate completely clean. This beautiful cat is wild, clearly homeless and ravenously hungry – still hungry after four plates of food.

At that point I started to think about homeless people. For such a small country, Ireland has more than its fair share of them and I was shocked to hear some news at the weekend about homeless people who are actually sleeping outdoors in this weather. Some of those who were interviewed said that they were afraid to stay in hostels which were run by charities because they have been attacked and their limited possessions stolen in such places. One young man said that his mother had thrown him out because of his drug addiction. How terrible!

How many needy souls there are in our own communities! There is a world of work for the Christian to do in this world; we can pray for the immediate needs of those around us but if we have the opportunity to help in a practical way we should do so. Homelessness may not be the fault of the victims of it and I don’t believe that it is God’s will for my fellow human beings to live under these circumstances. Drugs, alcohol and poverty abound – but His grace is greater. I remember hearing the story of a young woman from the Ukraine who was homeless in Northern Ireland. One night she suffered from severe frostbite and as a result had to have her lower legs amputated. The town where this happened was, I am told, full of Christians. Did anyone see her alone in a cold doorway, as they passed by? If only she had known; there was no need for this terrible thing to happen, because if she had even gone to the police, they would have made sure that she was properly accommodated. And if only those who are in need right now would realise that there is a God in heaven who cares deeply about their situation and wants to give them good living conditions and a life that is pleasing to Him.

“I wonder where that cat sleeps at night?” I asked my daughter. “I wish that we could tame him and give him a home.”

“In that old deserted farmhouse at the end of the lane I think,” she said.

If the Lord can provide for His creation in such a manner, it is surely His will that men, women, boys and girls for whom He sent His Son to die, would have all their basic needs met in this life – and above all that they would possess those spiritual gifts of joy and contentment which only the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ, can impart to human hearts. Surely…“my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4v19) is His promise to those who come to Him by faith for all their needs, whether spiritual or material!