Shiphrah, Noah and the Queen
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Shiphrah, Noah and the Queen
But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
or the birds of the air, and they will tell you.
Job 12:7 (NIV)
God put animals on this earth for many reasons. I believe one reason is to teach us faith. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Recently a well-known preacher, Dr. Charles Stanley gave a sermon on three levels of faith: little, great and perfect. He taught that little faith is a laboring faith which involves a struggle to believe, great faith is a reaching faith in which we know God will do something but we don’t know how, and perfect faith is knowing that God’s actions on our behalf are a done deal.
Many times I have seen animals demonstrate their faith in me to act on their behalf for their ultimate good. In their responses to me I have seen the different levels of faith exemplified. When I reflect on little faith or laboring faith Shiphrah comes to mind. One day while I was working at a nursing home one of the residents, Lloyd Cannon, came to me with his concern for a kitten he had been watching out in the parking lot. We went outside to take action on behalf of the little struggling animal. Immediately, we realized that some tools would be required to catch this starving and very frightened baby. With a plan and proper tools (a crate and a can of tuna) in tow, Lloyd and I proceeded to meet the challenge before us. Silently praying that God would help us rescue the bewildered kitten we set down the crate with the enticing can of tuna inside. Desperate, scared and hungry she went for the tuna and we slammed the door of the crate behind her with two sighs of relief.
After a trip to the Vet the kitten, then known as “no name,” took up residence at my house at which time she was named Shiphrah. For over two months Shiphrah lived in a crate with a litter box, water, food and bed. The door to the create was left open for her to come out when she determined the time was right.
Shiphrah had two choices that day at the nursing home. She could run from us and soon die of starvation or she could exercise enough faith to go for the tuna. Her struggle was obvious as we watched her labor to make the decision to live or die.
When I ponder great faith in relation to animals I think of Noah. Driving down the street I heard a thud under the car. I looked in my rearview mirror and was stunned to see an orange cat sitting in the road. Distraught by what I saw, my heart was pulsating at a high speed as I prayed God would protect the little creature from other cars as I frantically rushed back to his aid. The orange tabby was calmly sitting in the road in an obvious state of shock. With no visible sign of blood I scooped up the cat and rushed him to a Vets office a few blocks away.
After careful examination the Vet, Dr. Tierce, showed me an x-ray revealing a punctured lung. Discussing the options for dealing with this life threatening situation we decided to try to save the cat. Dr. Tierce went above and beyond the call of duty and took the cat with him literally everywhere he went in order to treat the punctured lung. After a lot of prayer and tender loving care from Dr. Tierce the cat was stable enough to come home at which time he became known as Noah. Looking back over Noah’s ordeal I am reminded of his great faith. From the day I scooped him up off the street to this very day Noah maintains that air about him that says, “I don’t know how you are going to fix this but I know you will.”
Perfect faith or faith where one believes in a done deal was demonstrated by a black and white kitten I encountered at a local restaurant. As I approached the door of the restaurant to meet a friend for lunch the kitten darted for the door totally prepared and expecting to go in with me, sit down and have a nice lunch. When I grabbed her and held her tightly in my arms she looked at me with total surprise in her eyes that her plan had been thwarted. Realizing she would not be welcome in the restaurant I took her to my car and left her for a very short time while I kept my lunch commitment. She did get a taco to snack on while waiting for my return.
As the rule goes she was taken to the Vet and then to my mother’s house for a period of quarantine. My husband and I named her Queen Esther and she still seems to believe there is absolutely nothing to worry about because her mom and dad have everything taken care of.
Examining the three levels of faith demonstrated by animals has opened my eyes to the way faith can impact our lives. After living in the security of their home Shiphrah and Noah have grown to Queen Esther’s level of faith - perfect faith. With the help of my Lord I want to live in perfect faith and I am eternally grateful for the examples the Lord has given me; Shiphrah, Noah and Queen Esther.
Copyright 2005 Dee Ann Drechsel Messerli
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