Clive, my 23-pound tabby hunk of feline love, teaches me life lessons every day. I thought it was high time I shared his words with you.
Fearing New Situations. One time my parents took me, Clive the Cat, to some of their friends to house sit and care for another creature of my kind—yes, they were caring for another cat. Everything since the beginning of this adventure had been scary. Watching my parents pack was scary because they were going to leave, but then I was relieved for a moment because they took me with them. Riding in a car was scary because we were so much closer to those monsters I see from our patio. The car got a little better when my mom decided to hold me outside of my cage, though. Then, being put back into the cage and being carried to a strange new house was scary.
Vocalizing Anguish. I let my parents know under no uncertain terms that I didn’t like all this change with my deep howls and allowing my hair to stand up on end. But none of the previous events were as scary as encountering a fluffy white creature with green eyes once the door of the new home was opened and my cage was set down on the floor.
Would my parents love him more than me? Why were they petting him? I hissed at him through my cage and roared at him with a growl 10 times deeper than the ones I had uttered up to this point.
Observing a Different Reaction. But he—I heard my parents call him Ivan—wasn’t looking at me. In fact, he wasn’t flinching at all. He just kept looking up as my daddy bent down to pet him. Ivan was even raised up on his back legs to get up to my daddy’s hand.
Lacking Understanding. How could this white creature not even be looking at me—and be in so much peace as if nothing was upsetting—when I was in so much duress?
I couldn’t understand his behavior. I learned later that Ivan is deaf.
But, then, in an instant, his demeanor changed.
My daddy walked away, and Ivan stopped looking up. Instead, he looked around only at his own level. Then he saw me. He saw my mouth moving. And his peace vanished. He realized there was an enemy in his house.
Intervening Protection from Above. But Ivan wasn’t in any danger from me. I was caged. I couldn’t hurt him—and he couldn’t hurt me. My parents kept us separated the entire time. In so doing, they kept us both safe. I am always amazed that my parents are so protective of me and that they always know what to do—and I am so thankful to have them.
Just like Clive, we get scared anytime we encounter something new. We may even growl and complain in protest in a Clive-like manner. We might face these fears when we meet people for the first time, go to a doctor, move because of a job transfer or speak in public. Regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in, God is in our midst, intervening from above.
God calls us to keep looking at Him when we don’t understand. He tells us to, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2, NLT).
In Ivan’s case, he couldn’t hear something at his own level. That shows me that sometimes God keeps us from seeing the entirety of the situation for our own protection. Sometimes, we may be aware of the dangers, and God offers a way to peace. He says that we should be “Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NLT).
I’ve certainly found that looking up at God has kept me more peaceful than focusing on my momentary difficulties and ongoing challenges.
Applications for Life and Business
Are new, scary or overwhelming scenarios facing you today? What has your reaction been so far? Are you at peace or are you growling in dismay? If you are growling internally or even out loud, consider a different reaction. Look up and focus on things above—and trust that God that He knows what’s best. Ask Him for wisdom and to lessen your anxiety. He will get you through the situation and make you stronger in the process.
Loral, Clive’s mom, in addition to helping Clive look up, is a professional writer and editor who helps authors and businesses get whatever message is in their heads out to their target audiences. If you need help crafting a creative campaign, evaluating your content or completing a book, blog or other materials, check out her services at cowriterpro.com.