Our kitties, William and Catherine, compete for occupation of our laps. Catherine will nudge William out of our lap. If that doesn’t work she’ll put her paws on his back and press down on him until he moves out. Sometimes, William will push Catherine out of our lap. There are other times they reluctantly settle for one being in Karen’s lap and the other in mine. Yet, there are many times William and Catherine will seek out my lap, especially after Karen teases them, kissing them and holding them close. She says these lines from the movie The Lion King: “Can’t you feel the love tonight? It’s where you are!” Catherine will often put her claws out and squirm as if to say, “Put me down now! I’m not feeling the love!” When Karen says these lines to William he’ll look at her with eyes of resignation as if he’s saying, “Just please tell me when it’s over!”
The wonderful thing about our relationship with our Father is none of us needs to be in a competition for His attention. We can come to Him any time we need. There are no line-ups. We aren’t on a phone or internet hub where sometimes it’s so busy, we can’t get our call through to Him. We find it’s so frustrating when we have to wait to get a long distance call through to someone we care about, especially if that person is ill. When we can’t get through to a relative or friend we are concerned about, we worry about their welfare. Such was the case recently with a beloved friend of ours who we tried reaching for several days. We left voice mail messages. We e-mailed him. Eventually, he called and e-mailed us saying he had been in the hospital twice because he had fallen.
I find it comforting to know God’s grace line is open 24 hours a day. Whatever is going on in my life our Father hears the cries of my heart. Like David, the shepherd boy who later would become King of Israel, when he was fleeing from King Saul’s well-trained army, he came to a point of desperation. In recalling the terror he felt we have recorded the well-known 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;…” (Psalm 23, 1-3, NKJV). David acknowledges his great need for God. He understands all blessings come from Him. He realizes spiritual restoration is a gift that comes from God.
David makes this prayer of penitence in Psalm 51:
“Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin…
wash me and I will be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:1-2, 7, NIV).
When we are cleansed of our sin we are put through a spiritual wash and rinse cycle, until all the dirt and grime of it that clings to us is removed. As we rub up against the values of the world we have to come to God for constant spiritual cleansing. Thank God His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). Every day we can come to our Lord for another spiritual infusion of His love and forgiveness.
Father, I pray we would always have the willingness to forgive others as Your one and only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ forgives us. He was willing to forgive those responsible for His cruel death on the cross of hate, which He changed into the cross of His forever love. Amen.
Let us as we close this year and enter the next, be willing to come to our Father more often for His guidance and strength. I encourage you to seek out the comfort of our Father. We don’t have to struggle to seek His attention. He’s always there ready to answer us whenever we call out to Him. No matter what you have done wrong like the Psalmist David, our Father is always ready to forgive and restore you.
Have a new year filled with God’s richest blessings!
Kevin and Karen Osborne are Christian pastoral counsellors and psychotherapists. Kevin is studying to become a chaplain and professor of Psychology specializing in Pastoral Theology. We have started You Can Hope Again Counselling. Karen enjoys doing cross-stitch while I like writing and singing songs. Karen makes me laugh when she sings the kitty bed-time song saying, “It’s that time. It’s the bestest kitty time of the day!” Kevin enjoys teasing the kitties and making them do kitty dances with music. Their kitty, Catherine, loves it when kitty daddeh sings All Things Bright and Beautiful. Kevin likes doing impressions. He tells children’s stories and helps others with their problems using his hand puppet, Dr. Teddy, who is a therapy bear. He is a partner with us in our counselling practice.We are available to assist with worship and preaching to give busy pastors and ministers a much-needed break. We offer in-office, and phone counselling to anyone in the world.