Feeding Donkeys

Across the United States this has been a wild weather week of freezing temps, ice and snow in places not usually found.  It has snowed in Florida and in Alabama this morning it was 19F/-6C!  A true winter wonderland of ice!

I have a welcome assignment this week – feeding donkeys.  I talked my elderly neighbor into letting me, on these exceptionally cold winter mornings, be the one to go into the field and feed the donkeys.  I take a hammer with me to break the ice in their water trough.  Doing this is a great pleasure to me.

I have a usual time to feed the donkeys but once in a while I’m delayed just a bit.  Even so, the donkeys are waiting for me.  In the afternoons I have a time that I feed them slices of apple for an extra treat.  They know the time I’m usually there, but if I’m late, I still find them waiting at the gate.

Blackie our cat waits for me, too, no matter if I’m delayed.  Every evening I take special treats for Blackie around 7:00pm.  The other night it was 9:00pm when I gasped as I realized I had forgotten Blackie’s treats!  I grabbled the bag of his tasty morsels and opened the door.  There was our sweet cat, waiting calmly on top of his house, showing no distress that I was late.

I am warmed to the depths of my heart by these donkeys and our cat who obviously trust  that I will come through for them.  They trust that I will be there no matter the delay.  It’s amazing to me.    Once again, nature has reminded me of something so important: the beauty of trust.

Last week I wrestled with some feelings of stress and frustration, all because of having to wait on something.  This something, I know, is of God.  He is arranging something there is no doubt, but it’s not coming to pass within my desired time frame.  He is waiting!  Why?  I have no earthly idea but that’s not the point, is it?  My time is filled with possible mistake, while God’s timing is always perfect.  He is never too early and never too late.

This morning as I walked over the road to meet with my donkey friends, I smiled as I felt the slightest warmth of the sun’s rays streaking across the frozen ground, shining over the donkeys and over me.  I poured the grain onto their feed  trays and broke the water in the trough for them to drink.  It comfortingly occurred to me that these donkeys don’t know the exact moment I’m coming on the scene — but they know I’m coming, so they trust and they wait.

This may be the first morning I ever prayed, “Lord, help me to be more like a donkey.”

“I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.  Wait patiently for the Lord.  Be brave and courageous.  Yes,wait patiently for the Lord.”  Psalm 27: 13-14


Kitty Waits and Waits and Waits

Many of you who have been reading my blogs over the years will be familiar with Kitty, our partially blind cat, who lives on the front closed-in porch.  That is her world. She is happy there, never wanting to go out into what she cannot see or understand.  What can she see?  Me.  She knows when I’m there.  She holds her head up waiting for me to stroke her head and softly tickle beneath her chin.  She adores my attention.  She trusts me.

Every morning about 7:00am I open the door, knowing she will be right there, staring at the door, waiting for me to bring her breakfast.  It’s the same everyday.  She never waivers in her waiting for me.  What amazes and touches me deeply, is how long she will wait — until I open the door.  Most mornings I am right on time but there have been days when, for various reasons, I have been late.  I remember one such morning when I was an hour late.  Oh, no!  I thought to myself, poor Kitty!  I imagined her being upset, perhaps panicking about her breakfast, but no such thing took place.  Kitty was waiting  at the door.

She did not appear to be worried at my delay.  In fact, she behaved as if everything was as it should be.  She sat and waited as I closed the door behind me and stooped down to stroke her head and tickle her chin, just as I always did.  Then, on cue when I stopped the petting, she walked over to her food bowl, looking up expantantly.  I could tell that there was no doubt in her understanding that she would be fed that morning.  There was no despair in having to wait to be attended to; she trusted me, and she waited for me.  In her little cat’s mind, she knew I would come and all would be well.

Oh, if only we humans could display such trust in our Heavenly Father.  He tells us in Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart.  Wait, I say, on the Lord.”  We don’t like waiting.  We want what we want, and we want it now!  Our Father knows what we need and He knows when we need it.  When he delays, it is not because He has become disinterested; it is because He loves deeply, waiting for our own good.

You and I can be delayed because we forget, or we’re feeling non-motivated, or we are providentially hindered.  That is never the case with our Father.  He never forgets, He is always motivated in His sweet love for us, and it is impossible for anything to stop Him.  He knows what troubles us.  He knows when we hurt.  He knows the longings of our heart.  Therefore, with perfect timing, He will bring about His purposes in our lives.  At the right moment He will open the door to deliver His blessings just as I open the door to bring Kitty her breakfast.

Father is always on time, so let us wait with trusting hearts.  Let us wait with peace reigning in our minds.  Let us not engage in despair which can lead to anger, but let us wait, as Kitty does, knowing beyond all doubt, the door will open and a breakfast of goodness will be served.