"For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
In my last article, I noted that one of my
cats, Squawker, briefly joined another family--and then had to
return. There is a (literally) convoluted story behind that
For weeks I had been pleading for someone to
take the cats. I had a home for the dogs, but not the cats. And I was
so pleased when a family in the church agreed to take Squawker. Not
that I was pleased about losing Squawker--I was relieved that he had
a home with a good family.
It was a family, though, that included
another cat--and this turned out to be a problem. In my
naiveté, I had desperately hoped Squawker would learn to get
along, but I should have known better. Squawker has always been the
scrapper of my two cats, and so naturally he was not going to be
happy about moving into a strange home with a strange cat. In
hindsight, Sneezy would have been the better match for the family,
for Sneezy is always willing to make new friends (interesting
side-story: during the few days that Squawker was gone,
another cat took up residence in my garage, to get out
of the rain. Sneezy's reaction: "Hey, a new friend!" The other cat
was less than pleased).
The family tried their best, but they
finally surrendered to the inevitable: Squawker simply wasn't going
to settle in. They called me, and I agreed to come pick him up. I was
not in a favorable mood towards Squawker when I arrived. He didn't
understand what was happening, but I was trying to give him a chance
at life. At that time, I had no other alternatives.
Yet, still it got worse.
before I arrived at the house, Squawker ducked into a hole in the
wall in their attic. Behind the wall was a corridor, which he
followed to the front side of the house. He took a left, followed
that corridor along the front of the house, then took another
left--following the corridor there. He was now on the opposite side
of the house, and could not see where he had come from. When I got to
the attic and called his name, he heard me--but couldn't figure out
how to get out of the wall! I tried desperately (and
with mounting frustration) to get him to retrace his steps
now, every time he got to the front of the house, he wouldn't
complete the journey--he would turn around and walk back,
away from the hole (and his escape). Finally, the
family decided there was only one solution: cut a new hole in
the wall. That's right; cut a new hole in the wall of their
attic, so my cat could get out. It was embarrassing, and frustrating.
If only Squawker had just stayed away from the hole.
Of course, how many times do you think God
has said that about me and you? "If only they had stayed away
There's a reason God advises--no, commands--us against
sin: He does it for our own good. Sin is very much like that hole in
the wall; it doesn't look so bad, until we suddenly can't figure out
how to escape. The first part of Isaiah 53:6 says, "We
all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own
So how does God rescue us? The second part
of that verse says, "
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all." Who is the "him" in this verse? It is a
prophecy of Jesus Christ. God had to, essentially, cut a hole in
history: the opening verses of the Gospel of John (1:1 and 1:14) tell
us, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and
the Word was God
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling
among us." Jesus Christ came to earth to free us from
that hole of sin. Paul tells us in Romans 3:23 - 24, "
have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified
freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ
The bad news is that we've gone down a hole
and gotten ourselves lost--and we simply cannot find our way out. We
may even hear God calling, but don't know how to get to Him. The good
news, then, is that God's love and concern for us is such that He
cuts a hole in the wall--He gets out. Titus 3:4 - 5a says, "But when
the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not
because of righteous things we had done, but because of His
Squawker is safe and sound in his new home,
reunited with his lifelong friend Sneezy (indeed, the one and only
cat he doesn't try to chase away). He still finds himself in odd
troubles (more on this another time), but in this respect he is like
his Daddy--and, indeed, all humanity. We continue to find new holes.
We continue to get stuck. The good news is, God continues to save
Farewell Part 2
If you have anything of interest to add to
or you have general comments, questions, or ideas,
we welcome your response.
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