“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you,” Matthew 7:17.
“’…Now, we shall back our desires with some faith. Stand back, everyone. I shall not be driven back by mere noise…when I see the promise of God carved in stone!’ Christiana commenced to address herself to the door with a right good will. Indeed, she attacked it with such violence that it sounded as if she were wielding a battering ram rather than a mere walking staff.
“Now when He that waited within heard the thundering vehemence of that knocking, He smiled and with great joy threw open the door and bade them welcome.” (New Amplified Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 2, Christiana ©2005)
It is some dark hour in the early morning, and my husband and I are peacefully asleep. Slowly, leaking into the sleeping crevices of our senses, comes a soft patting sound low on our closed bedroom door. In groups of three it comes. Pat, pat, pat…pat, pat, pat…on and on and on. Persistently, incessantly, never-endingly.
After a time, those pats become a bit stronger, more urgent, and perhaps followed by a “meow.”
Yes, God has blessed us with two cats. They are siblings: Goldie and Gracie. It is usually Goldie who pats at the door wanting to be let in. After a time, we (usually my husband) open the door and let Goldie and Gracie in. There, Goldie jumps up onto the bed and begins to play predator/prey with our toes. Gracie jumps up to look out the window, knock things off the nightstand, or to meow at her brother. She usually creates such a ruckus that by the time their food dispenser goes off, any extra sleep on our part is out of the question.
Goldie thinks he never gets enough food, so after breakfast he is meowing continually at me, following me around trying to get me to follow him back to the kitchen where he knows the treat bottle is tucked away in a cupboard. Invariably, he gets his way. As soon as I pull down the glass jar containing the tasty morsels and open its lid, both Goldie and Gracie are right there, purring, meowing, and eager to take in the tasty treats. Goldie often catches them; Gracie often misses and has to chase after them.
Once they are satisfied, Goldie will work his way into my lap, curl up with a sigh of contentment, and fall asleep. All is right with his world. Gracie will climb into a box perched nearby on my desk, and she too will snooze away the day.
In the evening while I’m having mother-daughter time in Charity’s room, Goldie will come in and “flop” over. He’s asking for a tummy rub. So, I’ll get down to his level and rub his tummy. Oh, how he purrs and stretches and smiles and soak in every bit of this gentle massage. Gracie comes in, jumps up on Charity’s bed, curls up on a big fluffy pillow, and goes to sleep.
At night, if Goldie is lucky to find we left the door open, he will slip in and quietly curl up at our feet, and again fall asleep, content that all is right with his world.
Ok, so, what does this have to do with the text and the Pilgrim’s Progress passage above?
This. Just as Goldie and Gracie are incessant about being let into our room each morning, so are we to be incessant in our prayers to God. Come before God boldly, and in faith that the door will be opened. Not just a weak, little, “if thy will be done (don’t get angry with me for asking)” type of prayer, but a bold, fearless, pounding on the door.
When Goldie is asking for “the bread of life,” he is eager to catch and gobble the bites of goodness. Gracie isn’t so adept at catching, but she chases after the fallen ones and eats them just as eagerly. So are we to be that eager in studying the Bible. Even if we don’t “get it” the first time around, so are we to chase after it and until we can “eat it” eagerly.
My lap is a place of security, warmth, and contentment for Goldie. So is resting in the lap of Jesus — a place where you are safe and warm in His love.
Goldie loves having his tummy rubbed; Gracie likes being near me. So should we love interacting and staying close to God on a daily basis.
Goldie often sleeps at our feet. So should we sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from what He has to say.
As John Bunyan/Jim Pappas wrote in the Amplified Pilgrim’s Progress, “There are godly lessons in virtually everything about us.” I invite you to look about you this week and consider how your garden, the rain, the sun, your pet — wherever you are and whatever you are doing — can point you to our Father in Heaven. And, share it with us.