I'm not referring to my kids. I've made it a point not to call them names, except for pumpkin, goober-pea, peanut, pickle, cupcake, munchkin, and the occasional but necessary sweetie-pie. Anyway, people rear kids and raise animals, as you remember from your ninth-grade English lesson.
No, I am referring to our white, pretty, noisy cat.
We got her to be a mouser (since we are also raising lots of rats, but not on purpose). Kitty disdains that job. She likes her food delivered to her, at regular times, and if we have failed in our seemingly one and only job here on earth--that of keeping her well-fed--she turns into the brat cat. She stalks us from outside, jumping up onto window sills and meowing something terrible. You can actually hear the reproach in her voice as she scolds us.
She has one other negative feature: she believes our house is hers and we have stolen it from her.
The problem is, my husband is allergic to cats. (In the asthma-inducing way, not in the "I want to tie their tails together and throw them in the pond" kind of way). So we truly can't allow her to be indoors.
But she comes in anyway. The moment someone opens the screen door, if they are not watching carefully, Kitty whisks herself inside and hides under the stairs in the back corner behind fourteen boxes of homeschool books.
This especially happens around food time.
One morning I groggily stumbled downstairs to make my coffee just as my husband was taking off for his early morning evangelistic Bible study at a nearby city park. Wanting to be a helpful wife, I stepped outside to shut the gate for him. Kitty was out there caterwauling for her breakfast, so I pulled the screen door closed and shut the gate. Then I turned around and didn't see her. She had somehow wormed her way inside.
Ugh! There was no way I was crawling under the stairs after her when I hadn't even had my coffee yet. So I played a very nasty trick on her.
I grabbed her plastic bucket of cat food and rattled it. Sure enough, within just a few seconds, she slithered out from her cozy place behind the homeschool boxes and came streaking through the door, reprimanding me for being so late with her food.
I set the food bucket back on the shelf and went inside and pulled the door firmly shut. I didn't look out, but if I had, I know what I would have seen . . . A very befuddled white Kitty looking at her empty food plate.
I poured my coffee and went upstairs, thinking about how that was exactly like some of the tricks Satan plays on us.
There we are, cozy and warm, in our quiet place. Happy.
Satan doesn't want us there, so he rattles the pleasures of sin, beckoning us. "Here, sinner-sinner-sinner. I've got some yummy stuff for you!"
When we show up, the plate is empty and he is laughing maliciously. To Satan, every day is April first, and every sinner is the fool.
What makes it worse is that he knows exactly what chains to yank.
- He knows that one girl who is so hungry for love that she will choose a man over God almost every time.
- He knows that one boy who is so hungry for adulation that he will choose ambition over God almost every time.
- He knows the adults who are so hungry for things that when confronted with two masters, they will choose money over God almost every time.
He has been around for millennia and he has known us since we were born. Our besetting sins aren't hidden from him any more than Kitty's obsession with food is hidden from me. I will use it against her every time. And I am a kind, merciful person who loves her. (Sort of.)
Satan is not kind or merciful. He hates us. His tricks are not well-meaning. He isn't trying to protect the person who has allergies. He is out to destroy us.
"To Satan, every day is April first, and every sinner is a fool."
Here are two possible passages to meditate on:
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.