Looking out to our barn, I could just make out the shape of a little fluffy head peering out the door.
Aha! there she was! But, why wasn’t she coming to eat?
I got my answer soon enough when I saw her hobbling along a few feet from the barn door.
Injured! Ugh, how did that happen?
Grabbing an old towel, I marched out to the barn, wrapped her in it and scooped her up.
Now, our cats are strictly outside pets, but this situation was a little different. A cat that can’t walk can’t defend itself, nor can it even make its way to the food bowl, so I bent the rule a bit and made her a comfy bed in our sunroom.
The room quickly turned into an infirmary as I brought tempting, broth-filled bowls of chicken and turkey right up to our little cat’s mouth. I even made sure she had her litter box on hand and we covered her each night with a woolen blanket.
It was a good “downtime” for our kitty, and she took in all the rest she needed. She slept almost nonstop and only walked gingerly on her hurt foot when she needed to use the litter box.
I think some of her feline instincts must have let her know that she needed to take that time to heal.
You can probably relate if you’ve faced your own experience of sickness or injury.
Times like this can place a pretty big stop sign in our path can’t they? And if you like to be productive like me, they can be pretty hard to endure.
My friend Grace was like that. She liked being active and getting things done. Some of the people who knew her, she says, liked to call her a “mover and a shaker.”
That was until she was diagnosed with cancer last October. Suddenly, Grace couldn’t function the way she used to and one of her big questions to God was, “Okay, what do I do now?”
Now, the sick bed can do a lot of things to people.
Not only are there physical challenges to face, but there also are emotional and spiritual struggles to deal with. Easily we can fall into pits of anxiety, fear and depression.
But, after having a long talk with Grace yesterday, I realized that, however difficult, the sick bed can also be a tool used by God to transform us.
You see, during her season of healing, Grace started a deeper journey with God and she learned a thing or two about him that she might not have otherwise.
One of those things was the benefit of being still. “The first thing that the Lord started ministering to me had to do with peace and resting,” she said. “I started looking in his Word on peace and on rest and about being still. I mean I knew that scripture on being still -- but this time it became real to me.”
And, as Grace’s time with God increased, her walk with him grew to deeper levels. She even found herself bolder in her ministry to pray for others even while she faced her own challenges.
Somehow, the time spent in her sickbed had made her stronger.
“I feel so free to do a lot of things now,” Grace said, “I have experienced God in another dimension. I have always known that he is real, but now he’s really real to me. The world has a lot of hurting people and God wants to restore them.”
On April 22, Grace will have accomplished 12 rounds of chemotherapy – but it was after just her 6th treatment, that her doctor declared her “cancer free.” And the announcement wasn’t such a big surprise to Grace who had already come to a deeper understanding of “Jesus as her healer” along her journey.
I saw my kitty in the driveway this morning and picked her up. She looked healthy and I could tell that her belly was starting to plump up again.
And there’s a strength about her that hasn’t been there in a long time.
Maybe that’s because she let herself have the time to heal that she needed. And well, maybe she’s been on her own journey.
Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.”
Exodus 14:14 New International Version
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 Amplified Bible
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!