The Annoying Cat
By Mike Rule

After returning home from a busy week of travel and ministry, we thought it would be nice to go on a picnic to enjoy a time of reading and fishing. As the evening was progressing Becky and I were enjoying a nice meal when our daughter Rachael walked up holding a half-starved kitten. I could not help but think, "Oh great! This is all I need tonight." Neither Becky nor I are animal lovers like Rachael is. She cannot see any animal that she does not want, and animals seem to be attracted to her like moths to light.

My premonitions were correct because the cat ended up being a real nuisance and would not leave us alone as it tried to get at our food. I finally succumbed to my better judgment and gave it some of my hot dog, thinking it would go away once it was fed, but that only made things worse. The more we fed it the wilder it became. The wilder it became, the more steamed I was. In the meantime, Rachael was in tears over how it seemed to be suffering; I was steaming at the inconvenience of this stupid animal on an otherwise wonderful evening; and Becky was trying to feed the poor kitten, soothe a hurting daughter, and placate a grumpy husband. The grumpier I got, the more Rachael felt bad. The worse she felt, the grumpier I got. It was a viscous cycle. Did you ever have one of those days when someone else's emotions really irritated you and you were even more annoyed with yourself for being so annoyed?

Becky finally confronted me with a shocking question. "Would you be treating one of the people you counsel the way you are treating your daughter right now? How do you treat people when they are being emotional over something that you think is ridiculous?" I could feel the noose tightening around my neck. I was hung and she knew it. The most annoying part of the entire thing was having to admit she was right, seek Rachael's forgiveness, and allow Christ to do through me what I wanted to have no part of - namely taking care of the kitten and getting it someplace where it could be cared for.

Who I am at my worst moment is who I really am. But I am also reminded that who I am at my worst moment is who Jesus loves and who He came for. We can only know our desperate need of Jesus at our worst, not at our best. In your worst moments allow Him to remind you that He loves you anyway, and let your failures draw you more fully into the awareness of His presence. The next time you are annoyed over something that is really petty and seemingly insignificant, you might just hear Him say the same thing I did through a starving little kitten… "It's Me!"


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