By Kathy Thomas
I crouched, wedged between the glass door and washing machine, trying to remain undetected. A frenzy of fur scampered about on the other side of the glass, mewing and pouncing with ears pressed back and mischievous tails swishing, oblivious of the danger that lurked nearby. Like a sentinel, I scoured their surroundings, searching for any clue that might expose the guilty party. One of their littermates was missing, and I was determined to catch the culprit.
Suddenly, a shadow materialized against the wall, and I instinctively ducked out of sight. As I carefully peeked around the corner, my suspicions were confirmed. The perpetrator crept across the garage, intently watching the door where I was hiding for any sign of intervention, but a glare on the glass had made me invisible. Confident that the coast was clear, the thief grabbed another unsuspecting baby and ran for it!
The victim’s mother franticly tried to free her little one from the predator’s jaws, but it refused to let go and eventually outran her. I bolted out the door in hot pursuit, determined to rescue this hostage before it was too late.
“Drop it!” I screamed. “Drop it!”
But the kitten-napper ignored my pleas and made a beeline for the woods behind our house. I tried to follow, but the brush was too thick. So I watched helplessly, as they disappeared deeper and deeper into the woods, and the baby’s cries for its Mama grew fainter and fainter.
A few days later, the guilty party returned, despondent and whimpering, and gently laid the two lifeless victims at my feet in a desperate plea for help. The perpetrator was one of my own; my sweet-natured beagle, who had been a world class mama to two of her own litters over the years. Cookie loved being a mama so much, that she had once adopted an abandoned litter of kittens, raising them alongside her own pups, and had recently experienced a false pregnancy so convincing, she even fooled the vet!
She never meant those sweet little babies any harm. Cookie just couldn’t have any more litters of her own, so she stole someone else’s. She wanted to love and raise them, herself. So, she made a nest deep in the woods and hid them there. But, because her own season for being a mama had passed, she couldn’t produce any milk to feed them, and her stolen little blessings had starved to death.
The lesson wasn’t lost on this middle-aged housewife. I had seen the same thing happen many times throughout the years, in ministry. Now, my own ministry had begun to change. I was no longer experiencing the fruitful favor and blessings that I had once enjoyed in the past. I had deeply loved the work that God had given me, and I longed for things to be the way they used to be. It was hard to watch other women be favored and blessed, enjoying fruitful ministries, while mine seemed to have suddenly become barren. I had been a good steward of my blessings, and it didn’t seem fair that I was being passed over, now.
It was tempting to feel “entitled” and assume that every new blessing that resembled my past blessings must be meant for me. It was tempting to “make things happen.” I had a background in marketing and knew how to manipulate people and circumstances, if I wanted to. But, would that have glorified God?
“Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man, but afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.” (Proverbs 20:17 NKJV)
I recognized God’s loud and clear warning of what happens, when we love the blessing more than the Blesser. We ignore His plan and try to overrule it. We become so desperate to be blessed, that we will steal someone else’s blessing. But, because the blessing was never meant for us, we are unable to properly sustain it. So, it starves to death. Everyone suffers. Everyone loses, and God is not glorified.
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV)
Do you feel “entitled” to certain blessings? Are you jealous of someone else’s blessing? Are you tempted to manipulate people or circumstances in order to take it for yourself? Would God be glorified, if you did?
Kathy Thomas © 2010, printed with permission
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Kathy Thomas is a former model, homeschooling mother of four, and grandmother who enjoys farm life with her family near Ormand Beach, Florida. God constantly uses their personal building, cultivating, and shepherding experiences on their “Funny Farm” to teach them deep, powerful, and yes… sometimes humorous and humbling lessons concerning His kingdom mission. Kathy hopes to encourage others in their journey of faith through sharing hindsight, laughter, and the truth of God's written word.
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