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Snares, Traps and Chains

Good morning. It is Friday, June 3, 2022.

I had a bit of a scare this morning. Let me backup.

You probably know that I have two cats. My friend and coworker Denise found them in her tack shed on Saturday, September 4, 2021. She estimated the two kittens to be about a week old. Long story short, she began caring for them, bringing them to work each day. Every 2 1/2 hours we would clean and feed them. It really was a beautiful time. One little boy and one little girl. Soon she mentioned that they would need homes, I said "no way."

HOWEVER, I soon changed my mind as I grew to love them. They came home with me at about the 5-week mark and I named them Ricky and Maizy.

I love these cats. They, along with my dog Baxter, have brought me so much joy and happiness and laughs! A year ago this August, I had no animals, now I have three.

Maizy is shy and quiet, well, other than her almost constant purring. I call her Lazy Maizy. Her brother on the other hand plays hard with the dog and is constantly exploring, teasing the dog and making mad dashes through the house. He loves to come outside with me when I work in the yard and is always within 10 or 15 feet of me wherever I go.

They sleep in the garage, where I no longer park my car. They have a 2-car garage with a litter box and scratching post and toys, and many shelves to explore.

When I am home they are in the house with me and I leave the garage door cracked. It is not uncommon for Maizy to stay hidden when I let the cats in the house in the morning. She finds hidey holes and lays low.

So, Wednesday when she did not appear, I didn't think much about it. Thursday she still had not appeared and I felt I should get some eyes on her. I called and called and finally heard rustling from inside a long box on the garage floor that I had stuffed with blankets a few months ago for them to sleep in. I was a bit surprised to see her in the box, as lately she likes to be up high on one of the many shelves. Anyway, She came to the entrance of the box but did not come out. I let her be.

This morning when I opened the door to let the cats in, there she was, dragging a long, very twisted piece of material. I immediately knew she was in distress. I picked her up brought her to the kitchen. She squirmed a bit but I was able to determine that a small section of the material was wrapped tightly around her belly and hind quarters. And by wrapped tightly I mean wrapped so tight that I fought to get my fingers between it and her skin so I could cut it with scissors. It took a couple of minutes to figure out what to do and where to cut and even after I cut it loose she was still attached. Her fur and actually become entangled in the fabric. I eventually cut that loose as well.

It was not until after I got it off her that I realized it was one of my granddaughter's floor-length prom dresses. How Maizy got it, where she got it, I have no clue. Further investigation is necessary. It was a spaghetti strap and the strap is what became the noose around her little body.

Her left hind paw is swollen, twice the size of her other paws and she walks with a limp. I am keeping an eye on it and reaching out to my vet tech friend as soon as I am done writing.

When I picked her up afterwards, I could feel her bones. The material was wet with urine. I am telling you, it broke my heart. I realize now she must have been stuck like that since Wednesday.

She must have fought and fought, twisted and rolled until her problem became much worse. She needed me to free her. The outcome would have been very bleak had I not.

I can't help but draw some parallels between this story and Satan. Like my poor cat, we become entangled; not in an old prom dress, but in sin.

When I was a kid we had a book that showed a scene that always caused me to pause.

I don't remember the name of the book or anything else about the book other than the scene of young people smoking cigarettes. They were leaning against a brick building. They looked sad and hopeless. They were smoking cigarettes and wrapped in chains. The devil was standing over them smiling.

Ephesians 6:12 tell us that "...we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." ESV

Merriam Webster defines a snare as: a device or scheme for capturing another by surprise

ambush, net, trap, web

something that catches and holds

entanglement, to take physical control or possession of (something) suddenly or forcibly

What are you entangled with today? How often have you let it go just to return to it?

Proverbs 26:11 describes addictive snares so well with these words "As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." NKJV

Whatever it is, Jesus can set you free. He wants to set you free. Just as I had compassion for my kitty, wrapped in a urine-soaked prom dress, so He has much more compassion for us! He looks down at us, twisting, panicked, soiled, starving and wants to help us. If we keep hidden from Him, it is hard for Him to help. Remember, God gave us freedom of choice. If we choose to remain in captivity, if we choose entanglement, He will allow it. But that is not His plan for our life. If we come out from hiding and seek help, He is there to help.

One of my all-time favorite verses, and one I have quoted many times in the last couple of years is found in John 8:36. "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." NKJV

Do you want to be free? Free from the entanglement of sin? Free from Satan's snare? Free at last? Just hold out your hand and ask Jesus. He will set you free.

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