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A lesson from Gideon

The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time. You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing. Psalm 145:15-16

Gideon has a personality like Barney Fife. That cat virtually sniffs with cockiness around his feline siblings, nosing his way into anyone’s food bowl whenever he pleases–even the bowl of his 19-pound brother. You see, it’s not the size of the cat that counts; it’s the size of the attitude. Gideon has attitude in spades.

But like Barney Fife, underneath Gideon’s bluster lies a great big scaredy cat. Just sneeze when he’s snoozing sweetly next to you, and up he leaps with a start, wild-eyed with terror, scrambling for cover. The mighty Gideon is first to flee with a knock on the door or the roar of the vacuum. You get the picture.

And Sunday morning before church, God used this little red cat to convey profound spiritual truth to me.

I stumbled out of bed that morning feeling like a cross between a corpse and an empty Hostess cupcake wrapper—surely the result of that humongous piece of caramel apple pie I devoured on Saturday. I ached in more places than I didn’t, and as I groped for coffee it dawned on me that God was somewhere out there…and that He wasn’t aching.

The cats, certain they would starve to death, demanded immediate attention. I obliged, feeding the girls upstairs in the kitchen, and separating the boys from each other in the basement.

They grew up eating the same thing in the same room, playing musical chairs with their food bowls—every meal, all meal long—until every bite was gobbled up. No big deal—no one starved—and I was free to do my own thing.

But now the boys both have special needs. Rowe eats specific food for urinary tract health support, and Gideon was diagnosed a few months ago with failing kidneys—as a result, he’s on a strict low-protein diet. His health and telltale behavioral issues have improved, but I hover like a hawk—he’s convinced everyone else’s food is much better than his. Frustrated with his pickiness and insistence that he search out everyone else’s bowl, I quickly learned that he would eat his food if I fed it to him with a plastic spoon. Now all I have to say when he ignores his dish is, “Wanna spoon?” and there he is, basking in the attention—lick, lick, lick. Chew, chew, chew. Shake, shake, shake—crumbles of cat food flying. And then lick, lick, lick all over again. He milks it for all it’s worth.

That morning, I was absent-mindedly aching and thinking that it had been way too long since I’d really dug into the Word as I spoon-fed my red menace. Minutes crawled by. And then Rowe wanted out of his breakfast room and Gideon wanted Rowe’s leftovers. And the girls wanted anything they could find flung around from Gideon’s mess.

After securing the leftovers for their rightful owners later on, I wrote in my journal, “I’m craving my relationship with the Word, Lord. I’ve gotta do that for which I was created—feast on Your Word and receive food and revelation by Your hand.”

And then it hit me: God wants me to become like Gideon! That cat didn’t just want food—he insisted that I spoon-feed him. He wanted his food and closeness with me. In the same way, God didn’t want me to ignore Him while I downed verse after verse, chapter after chapter (shaking off chunks of Scripture before I wolfed down some more)—that wasn’t the way He wanted me to feed on His Word. He wanted me to sit with Him—like Gideon did with me—and feed on the portions of Scripture that He saw fit to feed me by His hand.

Even though I get annoyed with Gideon’s “love of the spoon”, I am noticing great improvements in his feline quality of life. Gideon is a living example of how all of us should become in our relationship with the Lord and His Word.

And the amazing thing is this: God will never get annoyed when any of us persistently push in for closeness with Him while feeding on His Word! He enjoys it!

Gotta go—the cats are telling me it’s dinnertime.


…like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation… 1 Peter 2:2


  1. Wonderful insight,that! And comforting to think of
    being spoon fed the Word of God by its Author.

  2. I love this!