Rejoice with me, for my cat was lost and now is found! (paraphrase — see Luke 15:6, 9, 24).
Last night our younger indoor cat (Pepper), a male, escaped during a thunderstorm. We’ve had him less than a year and he doesn’t know the neighborhood, which possibly has coyotes. I know that many cats do return, and sure enough, he was back in the morning, not even wet!
On the grand scale of what happens to people, this event was not a big deal, but nevertheless I was praying and asked others to pray, was somewhat anxious, and didn’t sleep much. It did make me consider many things, one of which is how God pursues us relentlessly when we are lost. He is an awesome God!
In Matthew 18:10-14, Jesus says, “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”
The morning after my night of poor sleep, I considered how I would lure Pepper back. Since we have another cat that I didn’t want to escape, I put her in a room and shut the door. I opened the back glass sliding doors about eight inches, then put some wet and dry cat food near the door. Soon he appeared at the door, after I had heard a bit of meowing, but he wouldn’t come in right away. I backed off to about 30 feet away, and after some more meowing, he rushed into the house towards me. I scooped him up and hugged him like a baby!
So my heart was full after a rotten night. This brought to mind another passage from the Bible, John 16:20-22 (No, I do not have these passages memorized; I cut and paste them from websites.): “Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”
It’s hard to believe in joy while we’re going through sorrow, but when Pepper returned, I certainly experienced that the sorrow had been worth it! It hurts at times to love God or others, but we suffer because of the love that we have, and the love is worth it!