Who in the world doesn't like puppies? Cats, as it turns out. From the moment Gem came home, Meshach the outdoor kitty has had it in for Gem. Make no mistake, Meshach is a rather fierce opponent. She once left a dead grey squirrel on the front porch. When her owner picked up the grey squirrel's body to dispose of it, there was a dead packrat beneath it! When he picked up the packrat, there was a dead mouse underneath the packrat! It was like a Turducken of death (a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken). A squirratmouse? Anyway…
In the above video, watch Gem track the cat’s every move (behind the camera). Gem has already been on the receiving end of Meshach’s claws- straight to his little nose! Whenever Gem’s outside, Meshach is stalking, waiting for an opportunity to strike again. Meshach seems to find Gem’s immaturity and puppyishness… well, contemptible. But Gem only knows how to be a puppy, and he does it really well.
Still, Gem has learned some valuable life lessons. Not everybody is going to recognize your worth. Gem has learned to approach his enemy with caution, on guard for a great display of disdain.
If Gem believed Meshach’s opinion of him, he‘d feel pretty lousy. Thankfully, Gem looks to his handler for validation. She tells him over and over, “What a good dog!”
You are a gem.
In the human realm, having a few enemies is almost guaranteed. Not everybody is going to recognize your worth. As spectacular as you probably are, you will inevitably get on somebody's nerves. Maybe it's because of jealousy (that seems to be Meshach's problem). Maybe the other person is just grumpy, or hurt, or sad, or tired. Maybe they have expectations for you that you can't seem to fulfill. Who really knows?
Well, God does. And thankfully, He happens to be the one Person in the whole universe who sees all of you (and even the inner workings of your enemies). He's incredibly aware of your hurts, hopes, failures and the secrets… and He is passionately for you. He thinks you are a good person, because He made you good, through His love. What does it feel like to have the God of the universe firmly in your corner? It feels like a little taste of heaven, even when surrounded by enemies.
The main goal of the enemy of our souls is to get us to doubt God’s love for us. Isn't that love the very crux of the message of the cross? That God would sacrifice everything to display His passion for each of us, individually. Still, it's hard to believe we are lovable when our enemies (from within or without) are there, ready to pounce.
Did you know that the more you believe in God's love for you, the more you bring honor to Jesus' work? Living with the belief that you are loved is a simple way of living. It's like being a puppy, and knowing you can trust and rely on your handler for all things good (treats, training, play time, etc.). Or like being a little child, not particularly wise or accomplished, but ready for adventure with a parent that really, really adores you. This is exactly how Jesus expressed it:
And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 18:3-4, NIV).
God's unwavering love and approval (grace) means we can enthusiastically be ourselves- as clueless and helpless as little children. Our enemies will try to convince us we need to grow up and earn His love. That is not the way of grace.
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