Here's my cat, Macaroni (Roni for short). Isn't he cute? Did you know that I am a big cat person? I know that some people hate cats, and I just don't get that. You gotta earn a cat's affection. Work for it. You can treat a dog poorly (not something I would ever do, mind you) and chances are it will still love and look up to you. That's not a bad thing. In fact, I think that's one of the main reasons why people love dogs so much (unwaivering love and big personality). But doesn't that love feel better when it is earned?
I know people will disagree with me, and I understand that. This isn't even the subject of this post. The main thing I wanted to talk about today is the wingless external parasite known as Ctenocephalides felis, also dubbed the Cat Flea.
Few things' existence on this earth are questioned. This is one of those things. Last week we discovered that Roni was infested with these horrible, disgusting, no-good parasites. We gave him a bath, thinking that they would wash off him and go down the drain. It turns out that fleas just move to the driest spot on the animal, which was Roni's poor head. Cara went to the vet and came back with a pill. Don't ask me how it worked, but 10 minutes after getting him to take the pill (thanks Rhonda!) dozens of fleas began to crawl and squirm all over Roni's head. It was a pitiful site (except for those who hate cats, I bet). Roni could not calm down. But as Cara and I picked flea after flea off of him, he knew that we were taking care of him. Roni trusted that whatever we were doing was for his benefit, even though he didn't understand it.
In this moment, I was reminded of God's great love and care for us. In the midst of our struggles, stresses, and infestations (sin), God works even in ways we may not understand to provide and take care of us. Check out Isaiah 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord." You just need to "trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5).
Fleas don't hurt the animal, you know. They just suck blood and fluids out a little at a time, while multiplying by hatching eggs. The problem comes when the number of fleas are so great that the host animal becomes dehydrated from lack of fluids or they contract a disease passed on from the flea's previous victim. Sin may seem tolerable at first. It may not even seem to have a downside or negative effect on your life. It's just a matter of time, however, before the consequences become severe. Read what James says about sin: "Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death" (James 1:15). We must be aware of the progression of sin before it is too late. If that medicine does not get rid of all of the fleas on Roni, we need to re-apply it. We must give God all of our lives, every area, for Him to examine, clean, and get rid of anything that doesn't belong.
When all of the fleas were off Roni, he collapsed at my feet and went to sleep for a looong time. He was exhausted. He was at peace. May we examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) and "lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1).