The Good Shepherd

We have kittens. Lots and lots of cute little baby kittens — six, to be exact — all starting to run around the yard and explore the world around them.DSC_0097AND we have two more Mama cats expecting kittens. DSC_0131A few days ago, we went into town, to do some shopping. When we left, all the kittens were on the driveway playing. When we arrived home, there were two kittens. Two. Kittens. Out of six, four had lost their Mama. Or, their Mama lost them. Whichever way you put it, it wasn’t a pretty thought.DSC_0103We have foxes, that have wreaked havoc in our chicken coops. Opossums, that get in and like to tear the poor birds apart. Raccoons. Coyotes. Just the other day, we saw a hawk come down into a tree and attempt to invade a birds’ nest….and hawks would love to eat a poor little lost kitten. There is an owl that nests in a neighbors barn. And we have seen plenty of snakes slithering about. DSC_0100All of these critters would love a snack of a poor little lost kitten — and the kittens were clueless. We had no idea if they were by themselves, or in a group. If they would seek shelter for the night, or stay in the open.We searched for those lost kittens for a long while, and the mama cats searched with us. And as it started getting the dark, the mama cats became more concerned, walking around and making a little “purr-mew” sound, calling for their little ones to come to them. Eventually it got dark, and we had to come inside from the search. Leaving the poor, helpless kittens out there…alone…in the dark…with all the other creatures.DSC_0107And I was reminded of John 10 while we were searching, and while we were watching the mother’s unrelenting search for their kittens. “And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and they follow Him, for they know His voice.” (v.4, emphasis mine). I was thinking about how the mother cats can make their special sound to call their kittens, and they will come if they hear it. They will come running. Glad to come up to their mothers, to be licked clean and comforted. Isn’t it interesting that when the mother call her kittens, other kittens don’t come running? Because each kitten knows it’s own mother’s call. Do we, as Christians, know the call of our Father? Know His voice? Do we ignore it, or do we come eagerly running to Him, to do His Bidding?DSC_0138I also was thinking about Matthew 18:12-14: “How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so, it is not the will of your Father which is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” The kittens were searching unceasingly for their lost kittens — how much more does the Good Shepherd seek us? Search for us? If a kitten is so important to it’s mother, how much more so are we to God? Our souls to Christ? DSC_0123See, we don’t know the dangers of this world like our Saviour does. We don’t see the whole picture of what might happen if we stray away from His tender protection over us. Just like the kittens were clueless about the dangers of the night, we are clueless about the dangers surrounding us day in and day out. We are ignorant of the impact our choices make to ourselves and to others. We feel the Lord’s tender promptings to go and ask that girl in the store why she is so sad. To start a conversation with the man behind us in line. To say something kind to the waitress serving our table. To walk up and greet the visitors attending our church one morning…..and we don’t. Because we feel awkward, or out of place or like we are prying into their lives where we don’t belong. Because we worry what they will think about us. DSC_0117But do we ever consider what God will think about us? What if He put us in that persons life, divinely orchestrated everything just right, so that we can speak a word in due season to that person? Encourage them? Plant a seed of hope in their heart? And I am absolutely speaking to myself as I write this, because I fail utterly when it comes to striking up a conversation. I get tongue-tied, I don’t know what to say, I don’t know how to keep the conversation going, I just don’t feel comfortable….But you know the common problem with these excuses that a good friend pointed out to me? The underlying factor? I. Me. Myself. I am too quiet. I am too shy. I am uncomfortable. Shouldn’t we be trying to make that other person more comfortable than we are? Even if we have to go out of our way to do so? DSC_0104We don’t know what might happen if we read this book…even though it has a little bit of witchcraft in in it, and witchcraft was utterly condemned in the Scriptures. We don’t know what might happen if we go out with that certain friend….even though this friend sometimes has a filthy mouth, and just might tempt you to go against your parents wishes, and you would never tell your parents where you actually were. We don’t know what might happen if we watch that certain movie….even though it has a tad bit of immodesty and romance that we know our parents don’t want us to see. And because we don’t know, we need to be careful. We might think that we are strong, and would never do_________(fill in the blank), but the Word of God says “The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Maybe going with that friend will make you think that what is said is okay — get you used to the idea — until you yourself are using those words. Maybe reading that book may not make you yourself practice witchcraft, but you just might start thinking that there is nothing wrong with other people doing so.DSC_0149 “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are know returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” (2 Peter 2:25) Which are you? Are you as “Sheep gone astray”, lost in your own sin nature? Are you listening to His voice? Do you recognize it? Do you obey His promptings — even when you are forced out of your comfort zone? DSC_0154And if you were wondering — all the mama’s found the kittens in the night. All six were there in the morning, when we went out to check. All safe and sound. Don’t you think the mother cats were rejoicing?

Anyone want any kittens? =}


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3 comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Oh my, what sweetness! Kittens are so precious and they always touch my heart with their cuteness. I was ever so glad the kittens were safe and sound – yes, the mama’s were like rejoicing.

    Your message was simply wonderful, my friend. I was greatly blessed and encouraged. Thank you for sharing with Roses of Inspiration. Hugs!

  2. Bethany Carson says:

    Enjoyed the photos of your kittens. Good message as well. Glad all the kittens were found safe and sound.

    We had a stray cat that moved to our acreage…and then started having one batch of kittens after another. We ended up taking kittens to the park and yodelling trying to find homes for them. Another batch we took to the county fair to try to give away, and another to a street corner. We found homes for all of them except one whom we decided to keep–and she promptly had a batch of kittens we had to give away. Finally, after all our friends (and strangers and enemies ;) ) were well stocked with kittens, we had enough of kitten “salesmanship” (or rather giveaways), and got our cats fixed. At least the kittens were fun while we had them.

    Visiting from the Roses of Inspiration Linkup

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