I lay on the cold ground, flashlight in one hand, rotisserie chicken in the other. I twisted my head just right so I could see under the deck, and catch another glimpse of those familiar eyes. There he was. My lost cat, huddled up in the farthest corner. My husband was on the other side of the deck, also lying on the cold ground with a flashlight, blocking the exit from that direction. I called and called, throwing pieces of chicken his direction, but he wouldn’t come.
Of course my first instinct was to turn to the internet. According to coleandmarmalade.com, when an indoor cat gets lost outdoors, they’re “typically terrified, and they don’t have the first clue where to go or what to do.” So their first instinct is to hide. And that includes hiding from you. Missinganimalresponse.com also assured me, “their behavior has nothing to do with whether the cat loves you, whether it recognizes your voice, or whether it can smell you- it has everything to do with the fact that a frightened cat will hide in silence!”
It drove me crazy knowing he was so terrified and confused, and the whole time I was right there. All he had to do was come, and he would be safe again. But he was too disoriented to understand that. All he knew was that he was afraid and needed to hide. Even from the very thing he needed most.
More than once, while lying on the cold ground, I thought, “I am so much like my cat. Confused and disoriented by what life throws at me. Terrified and hiding from everyone. Including Jesus, my rescuer.” When we’re in a fog of confusion, it’s hard not to push away the thing we need most. Maybe we’re afraid God will be mad at us. Because we knew better. We’re just getting what we deserve, right? Wrong.
Just as I relentlessly pursued my lost cat, Jesus pursues me in love, longing for me to come home. To listen for His voice in the fog and recognize, He’s been with me all along. He is my safe place.
I need this reminder every day. Sometimes multiple times a day. Because the fog can feel thick. Maybe you need the reminder too? I love this practical idea from Tracy Balzer, one way we can listen to His voice in the fog.
Before driving: Print or write out this verse on a small piece of paper:
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Tape it to the dashboard of your car. Before you turn on the engine, read it aloud three times, slowly.
Even when life takes you through a valley of fog and confusion, He is there. Listen for His love.