As an Agricultural Educator, one of the most rewarding aspects of my work has been guiding our students in operating an Animal Foster Care & Shelter at the school. The program has been transformational in helping students gain hands-on experience working with various species ranging from fish and reptiles to cats and rabbits. When caring for these animals and accepting them into our shelter our students have come to understand the seriousness of this endeavor. We are not just accepting an animal, we are making a promise to care for these animals no matter the day of week, time of year, or whatever condition we find them in.
A past experience came to mind the other day, we had three kittens fall ill from a viral infection that was causing serious congestion in their eyes and chest wheezing. We had started them on a series of medications that they were needing to be administered orally…did I mention that the medicine we were giving was extremely bitter tasting?? This made it ten times more difficult as we tried containing the fighting kittens that did NOT want the nasty tasting meds. Was this process exciting…no, actually I hated seeing the animals suffer from the infection and administering the meds was far from easy or fun! Yet, we did this because we made a promise.
This promise is no different from the promise that God made to us when he brought us into the world. He promises to never leave us, even when we are struggling and trying desperately to claw ourselves away from him. He remains steady and holds fast, repeating his promise, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”.
The following is a poem I captured after reading 1 Peter 2:4-6:
You Hold Me For years I sought refuge in another’s wing, For years I thought it would fulfill all my needs, Then when it came crashing down, I realized it was you I needed more than anything right now, You hold me Father tighter than I’ve ever been held before, Grace overflowing during this terrible storm, Hold me firmly and never let me go, For years fighting the winds of bracing storms, For years I fought alone, Facing giants beaten and worn, Only till I heard the whisper of your victorious horn, You hold me Father tighter than ever before, Grace overflowing in the midst of this terrible storm, Hold me firmly and never let me go, For years the beaten path was all I took, For years afraid of taking a newer route, Now I praise your holy name, Freedom and peace ring in me again, You hold me Father tighter and tighter than ever before, Grace overflowing abundantly in this terrible storm, Hold me firmly and never let me go, For years hopelessness and dread had filled my dreams, For years I felt disowned and rejected as a feign, Yet, you have chosen me precious in your sight, A living stone of prosperity and light, You hold me Father tighter than I can ever remember before, Grace overflowing relentlessly in this waning storm, Holding me firmly, promising to never let me go.
This holiday season let us hold onto the promise of hope presented by our Lord and Savior. I’ll leave us with this last scripture for this season:
Psalms 100:4-5, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”
May us all be blessed this holiday season and find those around us who need our love! Thank you for reading; take care and many sweet blessings!