Monday, March 11, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Lessons on seeking God learned from a cat!

What My Cat Has Taught Me About Seeking God

A devotional by Amanda Wen

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” 
~Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

We all know cats have a reputation for being aloof and independent. “Dogs have owners, cats have staff,” as the saying goes. For some cats, this reputation is doubtless deserved. However, “aloof” and “independent” are the last two words that come to mind when describing the Siamese we adopted last August.

Simply put, Jasmine wants to be with me. All the time. She follows me around the house (sometimes even into the bathroom). Her favorite place is my lap but if that is not available, she’s content to be in the same room with me. The day we brought her home, I purchased two carefully-selected cat beds, but—as those of you who know cats have doubtless already predicted—Jasmine pooh-poohed both of them. Her bed of choice? Mine, of course. She sleeps curled up at my feet each night, and within seconds of my eyes opening in the morning, she eagerly greets me with wild purring as she settles down on my chest.

 My lovely Siamese cat, Jasmine.
God has used Jasmine’s quiet devotion to convict me. As a certified type-A overachiever, I frequently think of spending time with God as just another item on my to-do list. Something I do long enough to not feel guilty about it. Something I sometimes rush through so I can check the box and move on to the next thing.

But that’s not what God wants. He wants our hearts. Our devotion. He wants us to follow Him. To seek Him all day long, not just for a few bleary-eyed, coffee-scented minutes in the morning. God wants us to be with Him, to look for His guidance, provision, and activity as we go about our daily tasks. He wants us to let go, stop striving all the time and to be secure in the knowledge that He is God.

The story of Mary and Martha is always convicting to me because I am so Martha. Rushing around, trying to get everything done, crossing items off my to-do list and growing impatient at anyone or anything who’s impeding my progress. But Jesus praised Mary’s choice to sit at His feet and listen to His teaching rather than helping her sister get dinner on the table. “Mary has chosen what is better,” He said, “and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:42, NIV)

This story has always confused me because as a mother of three young kids, sometimes stuff has to get done and I don’t think God is calling us to abdicate all our responsibilities to in favor of reading the Bible all day. But what I do think He’s saying is to recognize that our spiritual lives are more important than our to-do list and that we need to constantly seek Him. We need to be aware of how He’s moving in our lives and the lives of others.

And sometimes, just like my cat, we need to curl up next to God and contentedly bask in the peace of His wonderful presence.

Author Bio:
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of contemporary inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. 

A first place winner in the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, she also placed first in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, the 2017 Great Expectations Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest.

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship team at recent ACFW conferences. Amanda is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

In addition to her writing, Amanda maintains an active and rewarding career as a freelance cellist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team. She lives in the Midwest with her amazing husband and their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets.

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