We have a cat that is now almost twelve years old that is as much a part of our family as any human relative. It is a relationship that could be deemed as enduring love.Â I really should say that I have a cat that is almost twelve years old as it has really becomeÂ my cat as I am his primary caregiver but everyone claims that He belongs to them.
It wasÂ almost twelve years ago thatÂ my daughter begged for a cat. She would feed it, love it, and take care of all of its needs even the less desirable ones if only we would allow her this one small thing. I remember she went and helped her teacher take care of her cat to prove to us she could and would be responsible for taking care of an animal. We finally relented and for Christmas that year she received a kitten. The newness of the kitten wore off quick and soon we had a cat that still had needs that had to be met. My daughter’s enthusiasm for the animal waned quickly over time and in fact I am not sure it lasted until theÂ following Christmas but I imagine she would argue that point.
It didn’t take long before I was no longer reminding my daughter to take care of the cat asÂ I was just doing it.Â A job nowÂ that is mine full-time as it has been now for most of its life. The cat always has water and his bowl is never empty of food. His other needs are always met and over the years I must admit he has become catered to and now expects it. Through the years the cat and I have bonded as an animal and his owner does andÂ I must admit that I miss him when I travel and he in turn seems to miss me. We have an enduring love relationship that formed out of responsibility, needs, and dependency.
The funny thing about the cat is that he has never gone without his needs being met. He has never faced an empty bowl, lack of water, love, or a relatively clean litter box yet as soon as he can see the “white” bottom of his bowl he quickly lets me know in his loudest voice. He stands at the bathroom sink and demands that the faucet be turned on even though he has fresh water in the kitchen. He makes his demands loudly as if he oftenÂ is without his basic needs.Â I have yet to understand why or how he can so easily forget that he has never gone without. It is like he is afraid that he will not get what he needs even though through my enduring love his needs have always been met.
Enduring love, a lasting relationship of affection that can include synonymous words that mean eternal, everlasting, perpetual, timeless and the list goes on. This is the love relationship that God has for us yet we so quickly forget when life gets in our way or when we become afraid.Â The Bible tells usÂ continuouslyÂ of God’s enduring love and His faithfulness thatÂ will never end yet it often slips from our mind when we face or think we may face potential problems.
We are ready to thank and praise God when things are goings well but how soon we forget when we too can begin the see the “white” of our bowls and it seems that we could be headed for a hard time. Where is our faith in the enduring love that God has always provided us? Where is our praiseÂ because God is good andÂ His enduring love isÂ seen all the time?Â This week’s focus verse reminds us of the importance in thanking and praising God because of His goodness and His faithful enduring love that will never end. 1 Chronicles 16:34;
Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. (NLT)
Proven and Delivered Enduring Love
The praise and thanksgiving of God’s enduring love is seen throughout the Bible and the greatest of evidence is seen in the sending of His son Jesus Christ for our salvation. Remembering to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness is of course so important but God’s enduring love is what makes Him so great and worthy of our constant praise because He not only promises but He delivers.
Throughout history we findÂ people thanking and praising God. In Ezra 3:11 after they have laid the temple foundationÂ two years after returning from exile the people stop their work and praise God for His enduring love seen in His delivered promise. The people are praising God upon their return from captivity as God promised them in Psalm 106:1. Both of these scripture storiesÂ depict the people praising God for He has done just as He said He would do and they have realized that indeed His enduring love lasts forever.
In Jeremiah 33:11 we find God telling Jeremiah what is to come, the rewards thatÂ the people will experience, and the praise they will singÂ when He brings them back. Time and time again God promises and God delivers. So why do we so very often forget all that God has said and that God has done? Psalm 136:1 is a song written praising God of His goodness and a history lesson telling of all the times He has made good on His promises. If God has made good on all of His promises in the past why would we doubt that He will continue to do what He promises He will do? Why would we think His enduring love would suddenly come to an end?
Our doubt often seems to come from the influences of our world and the pressures that stem from it. Jesus explains this in a sense inÂ the Parable of the Four Soils specifically Mark 4:19.Â We get so caught up in our lives and the desires we think we must haveÂ as we are making our way in the world that we often leave God behind trudging onÂ ahead going our own way. We forget that without God we would not be successful in any of our endeavors. We forget to praise Him for the little things, we forget to praise Him for the big things, we forget until suddenly we can see the “white” of our bowls and then we let it be known that we need Him to hurry and catch up with us on the path because there might be trouble ahead. We forget that God has always seen us through the hard times in the past and He will continue to see us through the hard times in the future because of His faithful enduring love.
Perhaps your bowl has always been filled and you do not even know what color the bottom is, perhaps you have seen the color of the bottom of your bowl but it mostly stays filled. Perhaps you know the color of the bottom of your bowl very well. No matter what level your bowl stays at we can all say that God is alwaysÂ there making sure that when we face the hard or difficult times He will see us through them because of His enduring love. We need to remind ourselvesÂ of this and continuously praise God no matter the levelÂ of our bowl andÂ whether we know or can see the color of the bottom of it. We should not forget thatÂ God will make good on all His promises because He is good and His faithful love endures forever.
Love in Christ,
Every Sunday I sit down to write this blog and most of the time I have no idea where to begin, what to say, or how I am going to get God’s message out. I tell everyone who asks it is truly God who writes this and I am merely the instrument He uses to do so. Today is no exception. I have come to trust that God will come through on this through my faith each week today however really seemed to be a test to see if I truly understood this week’s focus verse.
It was quite late before I began todayÂ for even though IÂ knew the verse I really just didn’t know where to begin. I prayed before I began as usualÂ and then I waited.Â The afternoon began to move forward as I continue to read and search for clues. As the evening drew on there was just a smidge of doubt that wanted to form so I prayed again for God’s direction and reminded myself that God comes through with this every week. Upon finishing my prayer my cat walked up to me on the porch and began to cry for no reason. I petted the cat andÂ suddenly the directionÂ where I was to begin settled in my mind. As soon as I formed the parallel between this week’s focus verse and how we so often cry out even though we are always provided for the cat lay down and has not said a word since. Once again I thank God for He is indeed good! His faithful love endures forever.
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you remember to thank God all the time? Do youÂ forget about His enduring love in times of trouble?Â Do you begin to cry when your bowl gets low? Join us in discussion.