Something wasn’t right. We got home from our weekly AWANA night at church after dark, which wasn’t unusual. However, we were usually greeted by our pair of outdoor cats within 30 seconds of pulling in the driveway.
No cats tonight.
We assured my youngest daughter that they had probably just taken off on an adventure, as cats do. As my husband and my eyes met, though, we both knew that neither one of us believed the reassuring words we were telling our daughter. This had never happened before, and it was very unlike our cats to be far enough away that they couldn’t hear us when we called for them.
After getting our distraught girl settled into bed, my husband went out to search our property for any clues. He came in with the grim news that there were coyotes yipping up a storm on the other side of the creek near our yard.
Things were not looking good.
We spent a restless night in bed, wondering what could have possibly happened to the cats, and how in the world we would break the news to our girl if there were no cats at the door in the morning. My husband got up at 2 a.m., unable to sleep, and by the time I got up at 5 a.m., had already covered most of our small town on foot, searching for those two little kitties who meant the world to our daughter.
As we stood in the kitchen, exhausted and defeated, my husband said, “Let’s pray about it.” I have to admit, in that moment, my thought was, “Really? Pray about something as trivial as two cats?” I tend to feel that God is more of a “big stuff” kind of God. Got cancer? He’s your guy. Broken relationships? Give Him a call. Natural disasters? He’s on it. But cats? Umm…please hold while we transfer you to the next available guardian angel to take your call.
6:30 a.m. rolls around, and the moment we were dreading had arrived. Our tousle-haired redhead came sleepily down the stairs and cuddled into my chair with me. As she inquired about the cats, my husband and my eyes met again. Stay positive, we silently communicated. There’s still a chance, slim as it may be.
I opened my mouth to gently break the news to her, and as I did, two cats came hurtling across the neighbor’s yard and into ours! Disbelief and relief rushed through us as our cats came tearing into the house, devoured their breakfast and promptly plunked themselves in front of the fire, exhausted from the night’s escapade.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” (NLT) God doesn’t put stipulations on what is too big or too small for Him to handle – I am obviously the one doing that. When I do so, I am displaying my own lack of faith in His power and His love for me. He clearly desires us to come to Him with anything and everything. He says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)
As I was reflecting on the incident the next morning, I was reminded of the words to a hymn from my childhood:
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Lord, help me to remember Your greatness and power, and not to put human restrictions on an almighty and everlasting Father. Help me to carry everything and anything to You, knowing that nothing is beyond Your power and care.