by Delia Latham
My husband, Johnny, trudges across the front yard in his overalls and beat-up felt hat. Behind him, tails high in the air, three cats tag along in single file. Watching this little procession through my office window, I can’t help a burst of laughter. Isn’t it puppies who are supposed to “dog” your footsteps like little four-legged shadows? I half expect one of the hoity-toity felines to let loose with a yappy bark at any moment.
Sunny, O’Malley and Bo are their names. They’re ornery creatures, but we get a kick out of watching them. O’Malley, who is at least partially Siamese, loves to torment the birds—cardinals, robins, chickadees, woodpeckers, blue jays, and scissortails—who hang out on our feeders. He never quite catches them, but he seems to get a tremendous amount of pleasure out of scaring all my favorite winged creatures away from the big oak right outside my window. (Most likely, he does it because he knows I get such pleasure out of watching them. I tell you, cats know these things!) Sunny is the lazy one. If Johnny’s not outside for to hang out with, he can usually be found stretched out on the lawn, wherever the widest swath of sunshine appears. Bo does his own thing. We’re not sure where he is when he isn’t at my husband’s heels, but I can guarantee the haughty creature is up to no good!
Gardening is a real challenge. If Bo’s not off doing…whatever it is that Bo does on his forays of independence…he’s pushing himself under our hands, wanting to be petted. It is in our best interest to take time to do that, because if we don’t, he proceeds to attack those same hands—claws completely unsheathed. Apparently he thinks we’re kneeling there in the flowerbed solely for his entertainment. Of course, by the time we convince Bo to find something else to do, Sunny and O’Malley come to help us garden, as well.
I have to be honest, okay? The cats are Johnny’s—if cats can be said to belong to anyone. I’ve never been the animal person in the family. But I’ve learned a lot over the years, just watching him and my four children (yes, they’re all pet lovers, too) with their pets.
What amazes me most is the cats’ total, uncomplicated trust in my husband. He feeds them, sees that they have a place to shelter from the elements, and provides them enough attention and human kindness that they know he cares about them. They don’t necessarily appreciate it when he refuses to let them in the house (most of the time, they pile up together in a furry heap right against our glass storm door, where they can peer inside and make us feel guilty). Still, they accept it. I suppose, since cats are known to have minds of their own, that they might prefer their canned food to be fish flavored rather than chicken or beef on certain days. But they accept what they’re given, apparently trusting that the nice man in the beat-up hat does what’s best for them.
In return, they do a fine job of keeping our three acres mostly free of rodents. What more can we ask?
How is it that we human beings, who purportedly have higher intellects than animals, have yet to learn the art of pure, unadulterated trust in our God? It isn’t exactly rocket science, the knowledge that He loves us more than we could possibly love the pets we adore. He’s never locked us out of His house, and never will. We’re welcome inside, on the furniture, cozied up beside Him. In every aspect of our lives, our Father cares for us.
The heroine in my new release, Yesterday’s Promise, survives excruciating emotional trauma only because of a simple but profound trust in her heavenly Father. She’s human, so yes, there are times when she wonders why. Why didn’t God stop her from marrying a man she’d known too briefly? Why did her bridegroom disappear after their wedding night? Why didn’t God stop him? Why did she have to leave her family and her home and start over in a strange town where she knew no one? Why must her adorable little boy have to grow up without a father?
Ultimately, however, Hannah knows in her heart of hearts that God has a perfect reason for every tiny occurrence in her life. And after she throws her little spiritual tantrums (like we all do) and whines a bit about how hard her life is (don’t we all?), she inevitably concedes that He only wants the best for her.
So she yields herself to His will. She trusts Him. And God comes through. He always does. He always will.
Our role is simply to follow Him (like my husband’s trio of four-legged shadows). We’ll probably get in His way now and then (much like Bo in the flower bed). Most likely we’ll pout at times (like the fur heap outside our storm door). But through it all, it’s important to trust Him, never forgetting that the Savior with the scars in His hands is our God, and He’ll do what’s best for us.
About the Author:
DELIA LATHAM is a born-and-bred California gal, recently transplanted to Oklahoma where she lives with her husband Johnny. She’s a Christian wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend—but above all, she treasures her role as child of the King and heir to the throne of God. Delia enjoys big, loud, happy family gatherings and quieter times with just her own four children and grandchildren. She loves to play piano and sing, read, drink in the natural beauty of her surroundings, design marketing products for authors, and write. Delia’s inspirational novel, Goldeneyes, was released in March 2008. Yesterday’s Promise released through White Rose Publishing in March 2010. A children’s book, Adam’s Wings, will be available in December 2010. Find out more about this author and her books at www.delialatham.net.
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Yesterday’s Promise is available (in e-format only) through Amazon and White Rose Publishing.