My cat is a thinker. She understands a lot of words and gestures. I have even seen her reasoning to solve a problem. For example, when she spies a stray cat slinking towards the side of the house, she knows that if she runs to the window on that side she will get a closer glimpse of the perpetrator.
I encourage her to communicate with me. I get a feeling of satisfaction when she attempts to let me know what she wants. Do I regret going there? Yes, she has a lot of requests–the most important one being the desire to go outside. After (annoyingly) getting my attention she hurries toward a door and checks to see if I am following. When she gets to the door, she stares at the handle. Fortunately, she knows the meaning of “No, you’ll have to wait” (aka: I must go with you). But when she has to wait too long, she arches her back and fluffs out her hair while tip-toeing around, vocalizing in ways that I dare not repeat for fear of offending my reader. She wants her way. Period.
Now she is a good cat, but a cat nonetheless. She loves to have company outside and boldly ventures to parts unknown when someone strolls along with her. She loves intrigue and will investigate whether she is accompanied or not. Since it is against the city rules for her to run loose, she must be on a leash or stay in her own yard. The temptation to explore overpowers her. She doesn’t consider the rules, let alone the unseen dangers lurking everywhere like mean people, taunting kids, loose dogs, owls, the street. I know the dangers–she is oblivious. Her heart breaks because she can’t go outside at will.
This scenario reminds me of our interaction with God. He invites us to communicate with Him. (First Thessalonians 5:17) We make the effort through prayer. We know and usually concede that His way is best for us. (I Corinthians 2:9) But when we want what we want, we go to great lengths, even to the point of angry outbursts, to convince God to step back, to get out of our way so we can grasp our overpowering desires.
But God, in His great love, holds the line. He says, “No, you’ll have to wait.” He sees and knows the dangers while I am oblivious. Even if I get mad at a “closed door” that exists for my own good, He lovingly says “No, it isn’t safe for you now.” When I present my ugliest, most rebellious performance, God doesn’t change His mind. He holds the line because He wants the very best for me. (Psalm 138:8) I don’t see the big picture, but He always does. I must trust. (Hebrews 11:6) He is dependable and on my side. (Romans: 8:31)
Do you feel like your efforts to communicate your desires to God are useless? Do you try to push your agenda disregarding His? How can you step back and patiently wait for Him to open the door at the right time–when it is safe for you to venture out?