By Nancy Virden (c)2021
Cinnamon the kitten was a few weeks old when he was given to my youngest son. As he grew, his favorite game was hide-n-seek. (Ok, that could be my son or the cat). Cinnamon played the game by squeezing under chairs and batting at passing feet. For fourteen years, we didn’t know when those paws would catch us.
Cinnamon was a fighter. One day, the neighbor’s German Shepherd saw Cinnamon crossing under the fence and into its territory. Within a split-second the scene was a three-pound, yellow, mid-grown kitten with its back arched, hissing at an incensed, crazily barking and drooling head that was two times bigger. I called out to the dog’s owner.
It wasn’t necessary. The dog hovered just a little too close and out flew those kitty paws. “Yelp!” One swipe of Cinnamon’s claws across the big beast’s nose, and the little victor was home free. I had been afraid Cinnamon was losing that battle. However, he had the courage to change the odds in his favor. The dog wanted a cat; the cat wanted to live. Cinnamon’s more profound motive pushed him above what seemed to be his limits.
Cinnamon might have thought himself a lion. People trying to build new lives are probably less sure of themselves. The courage to take first steps toward improving our relationships and choices may mean giving up something we want or leaving a familiar situation in which we feel less afraid. There will always be the ferocious and scary looming over our heads.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is when God tells David to listen for the sound of footsteps in the trees. That is because the battle David was facing seemed impossible. God was going before him to win the battle.
We are not alone in our struggles when we rely on the One True God as David did. God has gifted people with the ability to help us out of emotional, mental, and relational pits. He offers the wisdom to stop repeating efforts that never work. He gave us his Son Jesus so he can have with us a relationship he has always wanted. If we listen to him, everything changes.
Will we seek help? Will we try something we haven’t tried? Will we ask God for his will and the strength to carry it out? Will we accept Jesus’ free gift of eternal hope? Will we depend on him to win our tough challenges? Interestingly enough, one of Jesus’s symbolic appellations is “Lion of Judah”.
In our new year, with this “Lion of Judah” on our side, we have the claws to fight back and win.
Today’s Helpful Word
1 Chronicles 14:14-16
And when David again inquired of God, God said to him… “when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the [enemy].”
If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!
Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
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