I so looked forward to my day “off.” I had no appointments to shuttle anyone to, no shopping to do, no nasty projects to accomplish in the house, and no cooking scheduled. So, I thought. When I awoke, I found my eldest cat, Little, scratching herself relentlessly, and decided it was time for a vet visit to treat the skin irritation I had been unsuccessful to cure. My leisurely morning of coffee drinking and Bible study turned into a quick read and a protein shake accompanied by the expected crawling under the bed to obtain the said cat to be placed in the carrier. After a $100 experience at the vet, I had to face the reality of giving my 14 year old kitty a bath. My tub is a deep whirlpool, and unfortunately for Little, the depth prohibited her in her soapy condition to flee. I heard sounds that I had never heard before coming out of her little voice. Her pupils dilated, eventually she collapsed from the stress, and I thought I had really harmed her. A thorough rinse was required to remove all the medicated shampoo and I cradled her in a thick towel, her breathing erratic and her eyes still as big a saucers, till she regained herself. Of course, she was fine. We must have stayed like that for fifteen minutes; the toweled kitty and her mean master. I told her over and over how it was for her own good, how the trauma of the bath would lead to a great reduction in her itching, and how much I cared for her and hated to do it but realized it had to be done if she was going to be relieved of her suffering. The Lord spoke. “See how it is done? You, too, are afflicted with wounds that need to be cured and bathed in my Spirit. The testing you are experiencing in your life right now is for your own welfare. You will be cleaner, stronger, more vibrant, and have less pain when the treatment/testing is over. Rest in my arms and let me cradle you till its over. I’m with you.” I was ashamed of myself of how I, like my Kitty, have howled and writhed and tried my best to escape His testing in my life. I need to do as He asked: rest in Him and be healed.
Fortunately for me, my lesson came prior to the rest of my day. With Kitty drying in the sun on the window bench, I expected to return to my dream of reading and sewing for the rest of the afternoon. No joy. The phone rang and my mom said dad needed a ride to the hospital to have some blood work. Now. Okay. Still soaked from the bath, I jumped in the car and made the ten mile journey to their condo. Dad’s visit was accomplished uneventfully, I drove him home, and I reverted to my hopes of still having that lazy afternoon of fun. Nope. As soon as we arrived back at his place, my mom was at the door and told me she was called by her doctor and needed to have some blood work as well. Back to the hospital. Mom’s visit was also uneventful, I drove her home, and it was now almost 3PM. The cat was dry, the folks had their labs drawn, I missed lunch again, my plans were thwarted, but I was confident that the Lord was cradling and telling me: “It’s for your own good. Trust me. Rest in Me.” I’ve often thought that I must be so hard headed that He has to really belt it out on my behalf to get me to listen. Maybe that’s where we get the phrase “hard knocks”; heads that are so hard they must be knocked to get attention. Any other wooden heads out there?