Many times in my life, I have asked God the “why” questions. Why did I lose that job where I was so effective? Why can’t people understand the concept of transgenderism with better ease? Why do we have to wrestle with the health system for adequate medical treatment? Why is there tremendous suffering in some parts of the world?
As I work through these challenges and tough questions, it has become natural to even question the existence of a God of the universe. But, then, I have considered how I think about God through the eyes of my own cat, Baby.
You see, Baby doesn’t understand why I take her to the vet to get her sides squeezed, her skin poked with sharp needles, or allow a stranger to insert a cold thermometer in a place that hasn’t seen the light of day. But her fear is obvious as she howls in the car all the way there and cowers in the corner before the meanie in the lab coat can get ahold of her.
Baby has no idea what the high-pitched screaming alarm was that tore through the apartment complex where we lived or why we darted into the rain for refuge. She was confused when she was left in the company of strangers and their pets for several months during my transitional move to a location that didn’t allow animals.
Baby can’t comprehend why a fully clawed kitten began living in the same house, quickly establishing her place as the alpha cat when Baby was perfectly content being an only child. She was equally not amused when her social rank was lowered even further when a rescue cat was added to the mix. Consequently, hissing, spitting, growling, and scampering feet are still the sounds that abound within the household.
You and I can understand the rationale behind these circumstances from our perspective as the humans who care for our pets. We look after our pets’ health and safety, and we help them to mature into their full potential. Yet there is a gap in her ability to understand so it remains a mystery to Baby.
How much more of a gap exists between God and us? When we experience fear, pain, confusion, and unhappiness we often balk at the mysteries of God. Yet our God loves us and wants to see us live into our full potential. In doing so, we need to humble our spirits to the mysteries of God’s ways. We need to be patient to the ways in which God will shape and mold us by carefully removing our impurities, leaving behind a beautiful creation. We need to maintain a lowly spirit of gentleness and kindness, ridding ourselves of pride. And we need to treat one another with dignity and respect, all within a spirit of humility. Consider the depth of the ways God is working in your life that you cannot begin to comprehend, and take a moment to say thank you for the mysteries of God’s ways.
~ Julie Walsh