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Lessons From Animals--"Comfort"

"Comfort, comfort My people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins."
Isaiah 40:1 - 2

 

I've written on several occasions now about my days in Montana, when I could allow the cats to roam free. Sneezy would always go out to the fields to hunt, but Squawker was an extrovert-he wanted to go visit. Neighbors would tell me about how he would wander into their homes to say hello. I'm adorable...you may pet meA neighbor walked out to her car one morning to find that Squawker asleep in the front seat, having jumped through the open window during the night. When she opened the door, he did not panic; he merely looked at her and meowed as if to say, "Good morning! So good to see you!"

The concern as this is happening is that you're running on borrowed time-at some point one of these neighbors will be less than happy to have this cat overstepping his boundaries. Not everyone, you see, is an animal lover (hard as that may be to imagine!). And indeed, on one occasion I thought that such a day had arrived.

She was the single mother of two young, kind, and spirited daughters. She lived down the hall from me, and went about her days in a constant state of weariness and fluster. The kind of mother who raises her frustrated voice often, always regrets it, lives day-to-day, and rarely has a moment's peace. As I walked out to my car one morning, she called after me: "Hey! I want to talk to you about your cat." Squawker's finally crossed the line, I thought. I'm in for it now. To my amazement, though, she said this: "I was having a very bad day"-and here her voice cracked, and her eyes began to tear up. "And your cat came and sat down with me and cuddled with me. And I really needed that."

I couldn't believe it. My cat is a Pastor!

There are times for each of us when we need comfort. That comfort may come in different forms: family, friends…even an animal. The ultimate source of comfort, though, is our Heavenly Father. He may give comfort in different ways, but it is He who gives. In turn, He then uses us to be a comfort to others. Look at how Paul puts it in 2 Corinthians 1:3 - 5:

 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

 

God is the Father of compassion and all comfort. He comforts us in our troubles. We are then privileged to comfort others in their times of trouble. This is not to say that life will always be easy; the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives. However, likewise the comfort of Christ flows into our lives.

What God says to us is, "It's going to be O.K. I know you've had a hard day. But I am in control. You're going to be O.K." Sometimes God's comfort comes as He providentially solves our problems. And sometimes, it simply comes in the form of a neighbor's cat, stopping by for a snuggle. And sometimes, that alone will get us through the day.

 

In Christ,

 

--Pastor Dan

 

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