“Gabbie Face” Is Not A Good Look

by Kevin Burton

   God showed me a picture of myself Friday. It was unflattering, but hilarious.

   We were taking our new cats to the vet for a checkup.  Jeannette had just bought them carrying cases for the occasion. 

   The cases are mesh-like, affording the ability to see in, or see out, depending on your perspective.  We got a big carrier for Ronnie a smaller one for Gabbie.

   The cats did not love being in the carriers.  Ronnie was vocal in her dissent, reasoning with the humans. Gabbie went ballistic, skipping straight to DEFCON 2. The spitting was only a preamble.

   The first thing she did to vent her fury was try to roll herself, carrier and all, off the couch and onto the living room floor.  We blocked that, and with some effort, got the girls into the car.

   After we had checked in at the vet’s office we waited in the car to keep away from unmasked people. 

   As we waited, Ronnie would utter the occasional dissenting view Gabbie took action!

   Her case was on my lap. She was standing up in the case, straining with everything she had against the top of it.  That was when she wasn’t rushing around, seeking a way of escape.

   Her eyes shot lasers and her breathing was heavy.  She forced her face and head against the top of the carrier, looking at me, pinning her ears back the way cats do when they are mad. 

   She writhed and struggled so much that her left ear eventually flapped open, the way the vets open them to peer inside checking for ear mites.  I had to reach inside the carrier to gently put her ear back in place.

   Jeannette wondered out loud if she should have bought a bigger case for Gabbie. But the truth is, the carrier was plenty big enough, if she just relaxed. 

   What a comical sight! The bad part is, nobody had to tell me, hey man, that’s you!

   What did we have in mind for the girls?  We just got them about a month ago.  We were taking them to a medical professional to assess their health. Had she told us something was wrong, we would have bought medicine or taken whatever step to help them be healthy and happy. 

   I knew that within an hour the vet visit would be over, we would be taking them back home, opening these very temporary restraining cases, so they could go about their business. 

   Our every intention toward the cats was good.

   When God inserts a pause into your life and you feel like you’re in a cage, what’s your reaction?  Is it more like Ronnie, making the case for release but generally being still? Or is it more like Gabbie, taking matters into her own paws, or trying to, to no effect whatsoever?

   My devotions were delayed for a few minutes Saturday morning because I just couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of this cat trying to force her face through a mesh wall. But eventually I had to come to terms with, OK, I get why Gabbie acts like that, why do you act like that?

   What I said to Gabbie in her hour of turmoil was, “chill!”

   What God says to me is much more helpful:

   “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” Jer. 29:11 (KJV).

   Had Gabbie rolled herself off the couch it would have netted her movement of a sort, but no real progress in terms of our agenda or her own. With an intellect supposedly higher than this feline, I try to do the equivalent of the couch roll time after time. 

   Or should I say with a faith higher than that of a cat?

   “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You” states Isa. 26:3 (NASB).

   Perfect peace sounds great to me, and I look like that sometimes.

   Other times I get that Gabbie face. If you saw me you’d say, “oh my goodness is this the guy who writes all that spiritual blindness stuff?”

   So here are two passages to help me and you in times of stress:

   Psalm 62:8, (NKJV), “Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”

   John 14: 1-2 (KJV) “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

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