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


Early or Late — The Cats Always Wait

I have a morning routine.  I  get up and dress for the day.  Then I put on my coffee.  I love that smell first thing in the morning, wafting through the house.  While my coffee is brewing, I go outside to feed our two cats.  You may recall the numerous stories I’ve already told about Kitty, our partially blind cat, who lives on the screened-in front porch.  Then there’s Blackie who is free to roam where he chooses.

It never fails; I open the front door, ready to begin my feeding of the cats routine, and they are always there.  Kitty is peeking around the rocking chair.  Blackie is standing on the top step of the porch.  Both are looking toward the front door.  They know it will open.  They know I will have their breakfast.

Although I have my morning routine, there are times when, for some reason or other, I am either early or even a bit late.  It never matters.  I open the door, and there are the two eager faces of our cats — waiting for what they know is coming.

When I pour their food into their respective bowls, they look up at me with their cute, little faces.  They pause while I rub their heads and tickle under their chins.  I like to imagine that their pausing is their way of saying thank you.  Of course, all pet owners know  exactly what their dogs and cats are saying to them at all times. 🙂

I go back inside to my waiting cup of coffee, and I enjoy it all the more, because of the attitude of my cats.  I love that they trust me.  It makes me feel content, too.  I love that they know that whether I’m early or late, I will have just what they need.  They will not go hungry today or any day.

It’s the same in our spiritual worlds.  Our heavenly Father loves us deeply.  Daily, He provides what we need, to get through every hour, no matter what it holds for us.  Even so, there are countless times when we find ourselves in distrust of our Father.

I wish we could all be a lot more like our cats.  I wish that, like Kitty and Blackie, we would know that the door to what we need will open, and that we will be given everything we need to face the day.  I wish we trusted God’s timetable; it is always perfect.

Why do we get impatient at times?  It’s not like God has ever failed us.  Why do we get agitated because nothing seems to be happening?  Why can’t we trust God’s timing?  Why can’t we rest in assurance that He is never too early; He is never too late — He’s always right on time.  Why do we fret when He doesn’t open the door when we want Him to do so?  Why can’t we rest in the knowledge that He will open it,  and give us what we need at the time that is best for us?

Kitty, nor Blackie, are in any doubt that I will take care of them.  If cats can be so trusting in a mere human being, can’t we be more trusting of our perfect heavenly Father, who holds all His plans for us in His loving hands?  Never forget how mighty is our God; never forget how He loves you beyond measure.

“O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!  Your glory is higher than the heavens…What are mere mortals that You should think about them?  Yet You made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor…O Lord, our Lord, Your majestic names fills the earth.”  Psalm 8:1, 4-5, 9