Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Resisting What's Best

Photo by Pam Williams
“What’s wrong with Baxter?” my husband asked.  “He is limping. And he can’t jump up on the couch.”

An hour beforehand, the cat was fine. Now he was definitely favoring his right back foot. The problem only worsened overnight, so I made an appointment at a local animal hospital.

After a thorough physical exam and x-rays, the vet felt that Baxter had a tear or strain in his Achilles tendon. She recommended consulting a veterinary orthopedic surgeon and putting a soft cast on it in the meantime.

Have you ever tried putting a harness on a cat? Have your children ever dressed up your cat in a t-shirt or a doll dress? If you have, you know how they fight against it. That is exactly what Baxter did. He fought against the cast. He yowled, he hissed, and threw himself on the floor repeatedly. He dragged himself around with his front paws, laid on his side, and rolled over one way and then the other. He bit it, tried to run away from it, and stared at it while whacking his tail down as hard as he could on the kitchen floor. He reminded me of our children throwing a fit when they were toddlers. It was not a pretty sight.

It was also rather scary. I was sure he was going to further injure himself. I called the vet in a bit of a panic and the assistant came to the phone. “Pam, you must let that on Baxter’s leg. Do not remove it. He will adjust. It's for his best.”

She was right. After about two hours, Baxter calmed down and found he could do pretty much anything he needed to do, despite the despicable cast on his leg. He could even manage small leaps onto the furniture.

Jesus replied,
"But even more blessed
are all who hear the word of God
and put it into practice."
Luke 11:28

When it comes to obeying God, we often behave as self-destructively as Baxter. Although everything God asks of us is for our best and brings about spiritual growth and renewal, we stubbornly resist—giving all kinds of “lame” excuses:

  • We don’t want to forgive so easily—after all, that person hurt us!
  • We don’t want to give generously—we might need that item or that money ourselves someday!
  • We don’t want to totally commit—then we couldn't have fun!
  • We don’t want to avoid gossip—co-workers will think we are stuck up!
  • We don’t want to give up our favorite bad habits—we would just fail anyway.
  • We don’t want to enter full-time ministry now—our current jobs are much too lucrative. 

The list could go on and on.

What has God asked you to do that you are refusing to give in to? Are your reasons as weak as some of the ones I mentioned above? Consider the positive results of obedience—the healing, the joy, the deliverance, the integrity, the freedom from guilt, the adventure. What might appear to be as restrictive as Baxter’s cast, ultimately leads to our betterment.

Photo by Pam William


©2014 Pamela D. Williams