We’re currently training our new kitten, Merlin, to enjoy us. It was the same with Jack; you have to convince the cat that you aren’t going to harm him. You have to persuade him with treats and brushing and scratches behind the ears.
Soon, the cat realizes how good you are, and he approaches you freely to be petted and showered with innumerable signs of affection. Training a cat to enter into relationship with you is a long, slow process of proving your kindness.
As I ask my husband our strategies for convincing the stubborn, cowering cat how good we could be to him, I think of one of those conversations in heaven that must happen at the precise moment of my own shrinking away from God.
“How shall we convince her?” I imagine the committee meeting in the heavenly realms. What will do it? What would be enough to believe in God’s goodness?
I think of God’s message in Hosea 2:14 when he says, “Therefore, I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.” Some translations say, “I will win her back.”
As we try day after day to win Merlin’s affection, I think of God’s relentless pursuit of us to allure, to convince, and to win back.
How great is your goodness that you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men. Psalm 31:19