I rescued a stray cat. Well, sort of. She yelled at me a lot as I walked from my car to my house and eventually I started throwing some food scraps to her. Maybe it was foolishness or maybe generosity, but I eventually put out a dish and cat food for her.
I was frustrated one day when I put out some water for her. She ignored the bowl and instead drank from the little stream left by the hose I had used to fill it. I tried my darnedest to get her to notice the bowl. I put it next to her. I picked her up to try and put her near it, but she bit me. I eventually gave up and just let her keep drinking the concrete-flavored trickle.
And in that moment I wondered if we do a similar thing to God. At times, we don't want what God places beside us. We're not interested in what He has to offer. We don't trust it to be best or even good. We'd rather go with the cheap, immediate version we have. Part of me wonders if that cat couldn't see into the bowl from her vantage point and I'm struck by that parallel. We can't always see what God has for us, but we'd do well to trust anyway. The bottom line is what God has is much better, and like me with that cat He'll try to get our attention, but won't force our faces into it.
Here are some things we desire and tend to find cheap replacements for:
God has answers for all of those, by the way. He's got the bowl if we can look up long enough to notice (and maybe don't bite Him if He picks you up — it might be important then).