“… a leopard will lie in wait near their towns to tear to pieces those who venture out, for their rebellion is great and their backslidings many.” NIV
Several months ago, our three year old cat was eaten by one of the coyotes that were wandering the wintery fields behind us scavenging for food. She was the joy of our heart. I still pine for her daily.
We had lived here a little over a year and most of that time she and our older cat were happy to enjoy the wonders of their backyard and lounge like contented spoiled house cats on the back porch. Then the rabbits dug a deep enough hole under our fence to come graze in our yard. She noticed they not only came in but left under that fence. One day she followed and discovered a brave new world beyond the boundaries of our property. When we plugged up the hole, she began scaling the fence in one graceful leap, undeterred.
At first she did not wander far and at the sound of my voice would come running, sailing over the fence with feline grace. Then she discovered the rats in the field. She began bringing them to us… often still alive, at first one, then two, then frequently several each night. She quit playing with the older cat or curling up with us. No matter how we scolded her when she did or praised and rewarded her when she did not, more and more she was gone, stalking the fields. I could tell she was slipping further and further from us. She was breaking my heart.
She was a cat, a little stray who had wondered up cold and hungry on our porch one day. To confine her to a life inside a house just to keep the rodents out would have been cruel. She was a free creature. So was the coyote.
“For all who draw the sword, will die by the sword.” Mt 26:52b NIV
How often does God see me wandering further and further away, knowing I will face dangers because He loves me enough to give me free will? Jeremiah, of course was talking to the people of Jerusalem who were no longer following God’s precepts. But it hit me, how much I can be like our kitty, joyfully heading off onto my own, away from the boundaries God has set for my safety, unaware of the dangers crouching to devour me. Our cat can never come home. Thank you, Lord, that I can. For only when I am in Your loving boundaries am I truly free.
A freelance writer by trade, Julie Cosgrove has written and published many articles with secular and Christian themes as well as ghostwriting e-Books, web content and devotionals. Dedicating her life to Christ at the age of thirteen, she became a Religious Studies major who was awarded the American Bible Society’s Religion Major of the Year her senior year in college. Julie has led retreats, workshops, Bible studies and quiet days for prayer and reflection. She is a member of the Christian Writers Fellowship International, Freelance Writers Network, Oklahoma Writers Federation Inc and lives with her husband and one cat in a town outside of Fort Worth Texas.