“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 ESV)
I went out for a walk one Easter morning about 5 years ago, and as I was crossing over one of my city’s main bridges, I happened to notice what looked like a small cat wandering off the walkway into the bushes.
A new friend
When I approached this area I called the cat out and she came up to me willingly for some petting and attention. After about 5 minutes of this I started to head back home, only to notice that this furry little feline had assumed that it was going to follow me there. When I understood this, I picked her up in my arms and carried her home. She has been my cat ever since.
This year I had moved to a different part of town and gave my cat to my mom to hold on to at her house while I moved into my new apartment. After the move was complete, my cat was nowhere to be found. She had hidden herself in absolute fear in a house where there were many places for her to vanish into.
After 8 days, on Easter ironically, my step-dad had cornered her into the living room, shut the glass doors behind her and came to get me to retrieve a very terrified house pet. When I arrived and shut myself in the living room and proceeded to move the couch, there I saw the most scared face ever and as she ran for the door and couldn’t escape, she tried to scale the walls as if she were making a prison break. When she ran behind my step-dad, she stopped and as I carefully grabbed her and wrapped her tightly into my arms, she didn’t fight me in any way and I brought her to our new home.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand (John 10:27-29 ESV)
How we wander
My furry friend’s little ordeal had me pondering the idea of eternal security for the believer, while at the same time, thinking of how far the Lord’s children can get away from Him at times, our Father who will never leave us nor forsake us. Allow me to explain:
When I originally found my cat, she knew that I was her only hope of survival. In my own life, I eventually came down to the point of understanding that my way of life hadn’t worked and when I was presented with the gospel on my doorstep by the Cross Canada Cruisers evangelism team back in 2010, it may not have interested me then, but I still agreed to go along with them to an event that was being held at a theatre downtown.
By the end of that month, I realized that I needed the Lord in my life and became one of His own by a promise in Romans 10 that I would never be disappointed in Him and that He would always be there. My little kitty seemed to see this in me.
When I went to retrieve her after the 8 days apart, I had a hard time recognizing her because she was in such fear. I happen to wonder to myself, as I parted ways with my chapel for 2 months in 2014, that perhaps God was teaching me something about myself.
I had separated myself as far away from the assemblies as I could possibly get. The problem was, I began to get into some trouble and involved with certain people that I shouldn’t have. In short, I was miserable in sin, but I held out and wouldn’t go back. As I saw the fear and terror in my cat’s eyes, I couldn’t help but look back to those 2 months and see how far I’d gotten away from God at that time.
Peace and safety
When she got trapped behind my step-dad and she seemed convinced that the game was over, I saw how I had my back against the wall by October and was still as miserable as ever. However, the peace and calm that she displayed when I had my arms wrapped around her was a time of safety and security, and she knew she was going to be ok and it was time to come back to me.
I saw so much of myself humbly confessing to the Lord and the elders of how wrong I had been and that the Lord was calling me back to the chapel. I remember sleeping very well and peacefully for the first time in 2 months on that very night of confession and repentance.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
In Christ forever
I’m not attempting to justify any of my sins in those 2 months that I was away from the Lord, but what I’m praying is understood through this parallel tale is that once you are in Christ, you truly are in Christ forever. It is a false belief that a Christian can mess up so terribly that the Lord will not forgive them if they honestly repent and forsake what they have been in sin with.
If this is you, then I plead in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to come home, to confess whatever secret sins that you as a believer might be living in. Brothers and sisters, live in the light and the victory that He has won.
He’s waiting to talk to you…