As a pet owner, I try to do what is best for my cats—even when they don’t like it.
Since they don’t understand the tried-and-true “This hurts me more than it hurts you” line, I usually try to love on Demi and Denté a lot before having to do something unpleasant to them.
So I’m sure you can imagine what I’m going through right now, as I’m having to give medicine twice a day to Demi. Let’s just say there’s a whoooooole lot of love going on.
Because of a bacterial infection in her liver, the vet prescribed two weeks’ worth of the antibiotic amoxicillin. You know, it’s the pink stuff. Perhaps you’ve taken this medicine yourself at some point in time. It’s ooey, gooey and sickening. Thick, pink and dreaded. But it’s a hard worker, going straight to the infection and putting up a wall around the bacteria. Pretty soon you feel as good as new—if not better.
And that’s all fine and good in theory. But try explaining that to a 13-year-old cat who’s had enough of you. And your pink stuff.
When I use the dropper to squirt the medicine in Demi’s little mouth twice a day, she fights me, meows loudly and wriggles incessantly while I’m trying to help her.
“But this is good for you, Demi,” I say in my most soothing, pet-owner-ish of ways.
She doesn’t understand that the pink stuff is going to make her better. And if she doesn’t go through this process and swallow it down, she will not get well.
Like my feline counterpart, I find that I respond in a very similar fashion when required to follow the instruction of the Lord—especially when it’s distasteful. Sadly, my first reaction is not compliance or obedience. I first turn away. Then I whine and complain. And I throw an emotional tantrum and see if there’s any way possible for me to get out of what God is asking me to swallow.
In the middle of my own dosages of the pink stuff, what I can’t see is that what is being administered to me is actually making me stronger and healthier in spirit. Putting up a wall around the sin in my system, teaching me truth or testing my faith, so that I may be more able-bodied to serve the Lord.
I don’t know if I will ever gladly reach for the spoon when being administered a daily dose of the pink stuff in my life. But hopefully, I will learn to swallow a little easier as I am continually reminded of the difference that Christ in me can make.
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
— Hebrews 12:11