This post is part of the weekly series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”
Image: A woman holds a cup of tea and reads her Bible. Black text on a green background reads, “Weekly Devotion: His Encouragement- Words from Scripture to Strengthen Your Soul.”
Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. -Joel 2:12-13, NIV
The Cat’s Lament
Merriam Webster defines lament as “a passionate expression of grief or sorrow.” No one expresses his grief or sorrow better than my cat. Every morning at six, my cat wakes up the entire household with his loud, plaintive howls. When he throws back and howls, it sounds like his little feline heart is breaking.
No one laments louder or longer than my cat when he is hungry. My husband, Jeff, has told me that there have been days when he was working home alone with animals and the cat started howling. He said that on one of those days, the cat howled for two hours straight. I believe him.
During the season of Lent, we make time for lament. In our culture, we have grown uncomfortable with the signs of intense morning. But in Biblical times, especially during the time of the Old Testament, it was common for people to loudly lament their grief for the Lord to hear.
I always give in to my cat’s howling and feed him, no matter how early in the morning it is or how late at night. I am only a human parent, but I know that my fur-babies depend on me. My cat howls persistently until I (his loving parent) feed him. He will pester me for hours until I finally get up, go downstairs, and put food in his bowl. In the same way, God hears our prayers when we open our hearts to our Heavenly Father.
In the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8), Jesus emphasizes the importance of persistent prayer. The widow continually beseeches the judge to grant her justice. God always hears our prayers. If even an unjust judge or a human pet-mom like me eventually listens to the cries of those need, think how much quicker God is to hear our prayers and our laments.
Despite my best efforts, I am only human, and I make mistakes. Sometimes I feed my cat too much. That is why he weighs over fifteen pounds! God is the most perfect parent. Our Creator is a better parent than I could ever be. God loves us so much that He was willing to send Christ to die for us. Faith in Christ is the only thing that can truly nourish our hungry souls.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty (John 6:35). If we continually pray and search for God, God will feed us with something much better than cat food. He will feed our souls with Jesus, the bread of life.
This post is part of the series, “His Encouragement: Thursday Thoughts to Strengthen Your Soul.”
Now, it’s your turn! What Scripture verse is inspiring you this week? Let me know in the comments below!
Thursdays are always a really long day of the week for me. As a pastor, Sunday feels like the natural beginning of my week. By the time I get to Thursday, I am tired and drained. That’s why I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday.
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!
Leslie @ Words of Hope