A Community of Hope on the way of Jesus


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Last week we had to take the cats to the vet for their annual vaccinations. Anyone who has tried to put a cat into a basket knows how tricky it can be. The basket only ever means one of two things: vet or cattery, and both are highly undesirable as far as our feline friends are concerned. So I try to follow some rules when going to the vet’s:   

Rule #1: don’t let the cat see the basket before you have them trapped; otherwise they will disappear. And they don’t just disappear metaphorically… I am convinced they disappear literally as well. Wherever you look, they cannot be found. However, if you break rule #1, you will eventually manage to find your cat, and then you are on to rule #2:

Rule #2: enlist help when trying to corner your cat. Our cats have an annoying habit of finding a space under the bed that is just a bit longer than an arm’s length away. It’s (at least) a 2-person job to get them out.

Rule #3: wear long sleeves. They are placid creatures most of the time, but not when the vet beckons. Those claws are sharp!

Rule #4: keep limbs in control. Easier said than done, as they have an incredible knack of sticking out one leg or another just when they are heading into the basket.

With any luck, by this point I usually have them both in the basket. If only I could explain to them that this is all for their own good, it would be so much easier!

When the Israelites were roaming the wilderness after the Exodus, God provided them manna to eat (see Exodus 16 and Number 11). Manna is described as being “a fine, flake-like thing” like the frost on the ground. It had to be collected before it was melted by the heat of the sun, and the Israelites could only gather enough for that day’s use. They became disgruntled and started to reflect on what they had left behind:

“Oh, for a few bites of meat! Oh, that we had some of the delicious fish we enjoyed so much in Egypt, and the wonderful cucumbers and melons, leeks, onions, and garlic! But now our strength is gone, and day after day we have to face this manna!” (Numbers 11:5-6).

In the wilderness, the Israelites had lost sight of why they left Egypt and their rose-tinted spectacles meant they remembered the food but not the slavery. Just like my cats, they didn’t recognise things that were being done for their own good.

There are times when we fail to recognise all that God is doing for us. It’s easy to moan and complain, and ask why God isn’t doing what we think He should be doing, so let’s stop and reflect on all that He has done and continues to do for our benefit.