What God is Teaching Me Through Caring for Shmu
Physical care-giving has never been my long suit. But I do have a strong calling as a “protector” of others and feel responsible for most anyone who happens to be in my sphere, whether it be momentarily or long-range, to make sure they are safe and sound, whether I am the one who is physically caring for them or if I am the one just making sure that someone is! This includes animals, which I forever praise Him for – these sweet creatures of God, all around us, breathing the Breath He gave them, reminding us of His glory and goodness and awesome power to create.
My kitty, Sammy, a/k/a, Shmu (Hebrew), is almost seventeen years old, and has had many health issues over the last few years, which recently have culminated in intense, hands-on, care-giving. It’s the physical care-giving, as I mentioned before, that is not one of my strengths. However, I am the one (and Dale, my husband, too!) who God assigned to take care of Shmu. And we are doing this 24/7 - it is intense, sometimes scary, and exhausting at times. I know it’s a different experience to be caring for an animal than it is when caring for people but I am hearing sweet lessons from the Lord so clearly that I wanted to share with you!
As many of you have also experienced, I am not a total stranger to care-giving - for about six years, I was responsible for overseeing the care of both my parents, who went to Glory, about eight months apart, at the ages of 88 and 89. But that was different because I had help for the intense care-giving parts of taking care of them. I was the one responsible for running their household, taking care of their medical appointments and decisions, and also organizing and scheduling care-givers. I was responsible for making sure all the provisions were there, and just being there for them, and supporting them, emotionally and spiritually. I wasn’t always so great with this part, either, just so you know :)
But the physical care-giving is on a totally different level for me since it does not come easily for me, when someone, or in my case, right now, at this present moment, my sweet kitty, Sammy, needs you for everything – eating, drinking, bathing, bathroom stuff, moving around…this is so different. I was so grateful for the care-givers the Lord sent to take care of my parents and their physical needs. I so admire and honor all those precious people who serve others like this and who are called and are so excellent at this level of compassion and intense care-giving. Thank you, precious servants of God.
But, I am hearing the Lord so beautifully and clearly as I go through this process of taking care of my Sammy. The Lord has used this little guy to teach me so many things about His love and compassion for us. Through this, He is teaching me how to be blessed while I am tending to and caring for Shmu even in my clumsy, awkward way. And, through Sammy, I see so many lessons of how we should respond to our Elohim.
A lesson about God’s love and compassion ~ love Him back when He cares for and loves on you ~ and be blessed and happy when you are the one who is called to care for and love on others ~
There are times when I am down on the floor giving Sammy his “spa treatment” and he just starts purring and snuggling, and my heart is just so full to bursting with love for him. I feel so blessed to be the one to make him happy. I know God feels this way about us when we appreciate and respond to His care. We really should let Him know how grateful we are for what He does for us. We can give Him pleasure this way.
A lesson about allowing God to take care of you through others ~ be grateful, wise and brave ~
There are other times when I learn lessons about how to be the one who is being cared for. I just so admire and respect Shmu – he is so brave and has always been our macho-kitty – we’ve had lots of cats during our almost 50 years of married life – each kitty has their own unique personality. (I love dogs, too, and all animals!) Shmu has just always been a “no-nonsense”, I-can-take-care-of-myself kind of guy. He never liked to be held – not a lap-cat! But now he knows and appreciates that someone needs to help him! He is pragmatic (if he was human, I would say, he is discerning and wise!) and accepts that this is how we have to do things right now :)
So, I receive another lesson from the Lord through Sammy – be brave, accept the things you cannot change, and trust the Lord to provide and take care of you!
A lesson about living through challenging parts of life ~ setting your hope fully, without reservation, on the Restoration that is to come ~
And while you are in the process of waiting to see if this is “your time” to go to Glory, fix your eyes, like flint, unfalteringly, on the Truth of what is to come. We have a Savior Who is going to re-appear on planet earth, and He will restore all things, and that includes you and everything and everyone He has created. He is going to do this because we were all created by Him and for Him.
What a glorious lesson He is teaching me about tenderly loving, caring, hoping and expecting, without doubt, the total restoration. The coming of His perfect Kingdom is His plan, which we are most assuredly guaranteed. Hallelujah to Yeshua, our King!
Thank you, Lord, for teaching me of your love, how to live through some challenging parts of life, and of the hope of things to come!
“So brace your minds for action. Keep your balance. And set your hope completely on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Yeshua the Messiah.
I Peter 1:13 TLV
Highway to Zion Ministries, Inc.