I would do well to follow her example
My cat understands the value of my hands. Or my husband’s. Or yours, if you care to visit.
She loves hands because of what they do for her. Massage? Food? Water? Treats?
Yes, please. Could you turn on the sink faucet — just right — so I can have fresh, flowing water? Could you open the door to let me in? Or out? Would you mind picking me up so I can nestle on your shoulder?
She says all of this with meows or the placement of her body or a plaintive look. She loves my hands.
At night, she tells Steve and me when it’s time for bed. (Think of a feline version of Lassie telling her owner to follow her. Except instead of saving a life, Tori just tells us what to do. For her own purposes.) Then jumps into bed herself (uninvited). She parks herself in between us — because she wants our hands to attend to her, not get distracted by each other.
When we think we’ve petted her enough and want to go to sleep, we have to hide our hands under the blankets — or she’ll persist in getting her needs met.
As I write this, Tori has just left my lap, where she had a full-body and head massage. She is now nestled on the arm of my chair — out of my lap and away from my hands because my journal, selfishly, has taken her place.
She tries to nose her way back into my lap, but my pen and journal prevail.
I need to be more like my cat. She persists in seeking my hand. I need to persist in seeking the hand of God in my life.
‘That Your hand would be with me’
Have you ever read The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson? It’s a short, powerful exposé of 1 Chronicles 4:9-10, two verses that tell the story of Jabez and his prayer — and how God responded. This was his prayer:
“Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”from 1 Chronicles 4:10, NKJV
Wilkinson takes each of the four parts of that prayer — bless me, enlarge my territory, keep Your hand on me, keep me from evil — and shows why Jabez’s request was so powerful.
“Oh, that Your hand would be with me!” is my focus today, thanks to Tori modeling that desire. I know that saying it, praying it expresses my dependence on God, my desire for His power and will in my life. It’s also strategic.
“… asking for God’s hand upon us is our strategic choice to sustain and continue the great things that God has begun in our lives,” Wilkinson wrote.
“That’s why you could call God’s hand on you ‘the touch of greatness.’ You do not become great; you become dependent on the strong hand of God. Your surrendered need turns into His unlimited opportunity. And He becomes great through you.”
My cat as a model of good behavior?
Wilkinson writes more, much more, about the hand of God in our lives, but I’ll just recommend that you read his short book to get the wealth of Jabez’s prayer. And seek God’s power and provision for your day as you depend on Him.
I am, thanks to this persistent cat who knows the power of my hand and seeks it wholeheartedly.
Unless my hand holds a tube of flea treatment. Then she arches her body and uses her claws to get away as far away from my hand as possible. (Even what she hates in my hands is intended for her good.)
But mostly she loves my hand.
Before I leave for a day at work, I spread her personal, cat-sized afghan (thanks to Connie!) on the cushioned chair I just vacated. It’s warm and almost as inviting as my lap, and Tori jumps onto it, ready for her cat nap. Yes, her master’s hand expresses love in many ways.
So does mine.
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