Although highly allergic to cats, I love the two we have, but sometimes wonder if it’s worth the trouble. This past Saturday night, one of the cats, named Misty, was up crying much of the night, waking us up regularly. Eventually, I realized she must have been upset about her litter. The store was out of the “usual,” so I tried to get away with a replacement, even though I know how finicky cats are. Sure enough, once I changed it to what I had left of the usual stuff (kept in reserve in case of finicky cat trouble), she stopped complaining.
Why am I telling you this? Because what happened next reminded me that God is concerned about even the most minor details of our lives, and about every living creature He has made. Sunday morning my reading schedule began with Psalm 8, which includes this:
“You have given [man] dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”- Psalm 8:6-8
Under the mandate given in Genesis, mankind is supposed to take care of whatever God has given us – the earth and everything in it. My study Bible helpfully noted that this includes pets, which reminded me of Misty’s crying! I thought maybe our cats were worth the trouble after all, but God wasn’t finished making the point.
Also on my reading schedule was Genesis 7, which includes: “And the waters prevailed on the earth 150 days.” – Genesis 7:24
During the flood, Noah and his family were flooded in the ark for 150 days with two of each kind of animal (but seven of each kind of clean animal, because provision was made not only for the survival of Noah’s family, but also provision for continued worship of God). After the 150 days, they had to wait months longer for the waters to recede and the land to dry before coming out of the ark. Noah’s family took care of an ark full of animals for more than 150 days. They probably lost a lot of sleep! As for me, I only have two cats and get to leave the house. I also have allergy medicine to make it more tolerable.
Looking back at Psalm 8, the last verse declares: “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
This Lord is the same one who brought Noah, his family, and those animals through the flood. He also cares about my family and even my pets. In seemingly small acts like taking care of pets God has given us, we can declare the majesty of God’s name! In whatever influence we have, big or small, God wants us to participate faithfully in the work started at creation, with the authority He has given us.
In addition to perhaps cats, what else might we be allergic to? Sin is not just a list of things we shouldn’t do, but it is our allergy to God’s dominion over the world and the way we each should have dominion over it and under him. We’re too often allergic to loving this world the way he did on the cross, yet we claim to hope for a world where that sacrificial love governs 100% of all actions.
Our Lord wants nothing more than to greet us in Paradise and say “‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’” He literally died to make such a greeting possible. Therefore, consider what creatures or people our Sovereign God has delegated to each of us. What tasks or roles? Jobs or ministries? Do some of those things irritate and annoy us, as if we were allergic?
In aggregate, the church’s role is to have dominion over His entire creation, but not in the way the world would, exploiting everything for our own benefit and casting aside what doesn’t seem useful, but as a servant would. Like a God who abhors all our sin as if He were allergic but decided to cover our sin with His own precious blood. The same blood that covers us so that, like a compassionate Father, our Lord can gently say on a Sunday morning after a bad night of interrupted sleep:
“Be thankful you aren’t stuck in an ark for 150 days with thousands of animals.”
 Luke 19:17