Exercising My Faith

About six months after Miss Kitty died, I decided to adopt another kitten. My requirements were that she be a friendly, talkative, long-hair, leukemia-free young kitten. Against my better judgment, I selected one from the SPCA, which is where I got my previous two cats, which both had feline leukemia.

Oddly enough, just as the time when I found my last kitty, I had circled all the cages and just couldn’t find a kitty that grabbed my attention. I had seen Gracie before, but she was sleeping with her back to me and all I could see was a black cat. The tag description was “short-hair”. So I passed her by. I was just about to leave, rather discouraged, when I saw a little spot of white on her. I decided to take a look, so they brought her to me. I fell in love and adopted her. I later learned she was a “tuxedo kitty”.

The SPCA wouldn’t let her leave until she was spayed, so I had to pick her up on Monday. She was only about 9 weeks old. I was concerned.

I returned and found a frightened little kitten with runny eyes. The caretaker told me that this upper-respiratory infection was common among the cats which were spayed, and she gave me some medicine. I was mildly horrified to be starting off again from the SPCA with a sick kitten.

When I brought her home, she perked up and seemed to be quite happy with her new environment, inspecting everything. But I noticed she wouldn’t eat. Dad and Mom took her to the vet the next day. The doctor gave her a shot to bring down her fever and new medicine and dewormed her (though she had been dewormed at the SPCA). They sent home a porridge for me to force feed her through a syringe. The problem with that was that she couldn’t breathe as it was, and then feeding her caused her to choke. I had no experience with this and I fed her too much at one time. I thought she was going to die.

Her breathing began to worsen, and she became listless. I brought her back to the vet, and she spent two full days there with the nurses trying to figure out how to get her to breathe and eat, and re-hydrating her. Her medicine changed again in an effort to fight off an infection or virus or both. Poor thing had just been spayed at 9 weeks, had worms, and had this breathing problem to boot. Not eating just worsened her body’s ability to fight the infection. She had also stopped drinking, which made me worry about her little kidneys.

The vet tried a humidifier, which he claimed helped her breathe. I ran to the store that night to buy one. I remembered we had a vaporizer when I was a child. As I was standing in front of the display of humidifiers and vaporizers, my gut (I think the Holy Spirit) was telling me to buy a vaporizer, but I kept hearing the doctor tell me “humidifier”, so I bought one.

When I plugged it in, it emitted cold air, which surprised me. I kept thinking of the steam that the vaporizer emitted. I put Gracie in the bathroom on a heating pad with the humidifier. I was horrified in the morning to find that the bathroom was cold, and she started crying at me as if she were cold too.

That was Saturday morning. I went into a panic because she was struggling so much with breathing. I ran back to the store and exchanged the humidifier for a vaporizer, came home, plugged it in and turned on the shower to really steam up the bathroom. I did that all day long and it helped.

Three times that day, Gracie stopped breathing. She was actually starting to feel better, it seemed, so she started bathing herself, and as she did, it seemed to stop up her nose. The first time it happened, she started going into a convulsion and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I just shook her a little and she would eventually come out of it. The second time I noticed she was bathing and had her head way down, and when she brought it back up, that’s when she started convulsing. I was on the phone with a friend, and she was the one who said that maybe she had stopped breathing. I remembered the first time she did this, her head was down too. I thought, that must be what it is – all her mucous is running to her nose and plugging it up, and she can’t get any air in her lungs.

The rest of the day, whenever she’d start bathing, I’d try to discourage it. She went into a convulsion one more time, but I shook her up and in about a minute she came out of it.

In the midst of all these physical manifestations of her illness and the impending sense of doom I felt for this little kitten that I had fallen in love with, I started thinking about why this was happening. Like most people who become seriously ill, “why me?” seems to plague the mind. I began to put into practice all the spiritual warfare that my mother has taught me, as well as some things I had learned from Andrew Wommack, a TV minister that I followed regularly.

As I started meditating on all the issues and problems, the enemy kept tormenting me with thoughts that the cat was going to die. So, one of my first lines of reasoning through this was, “Why would God create an animal or a baby (or technically, create procreation), just so it could die?” I could hear the vet now: “Well, we don’t know why these things happen, but some kittens and puppies just die.” I wasn’t willing to accept that. Then, I heard in my head, “It was just God’s will,” like a lot of good, but uneducated, church-going people say. I started rebuking these thoughts. I just couldn’t accept that it was God’s will, and I just knew that it wasn’t. It just didn’t make sense. I started believing that this was an attack of Satan and forming my plan of counter-attack. I started thinking that perhaps now that I am a PK (preacher’s kid), he really has it out for me… but he’ll never win because “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.” (II Corinthians 10:3-5)

Tuesday night was my first night for real spiritual warfare. I put the kitty to bed and I got angry at Satan. I started yelling at him and shaking my fist, pacing in my home. I remembered Andrew Wommack’s story of how he did the same thing when he was in deep poverty and couldn’t pay his bills. When he unleashed his fury on Satan, amazing resolutions to his problems began to happen. (Matthew 11:12)

I started first with thanking the Lord for the gift he had given me of Gracie, and that in His Word, He wants us to take care of His animals, that He knows when a sparrow falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29), and I wanted to take care of Gracie. I told him that if demons would ask Jesus to enter a flock of pigs (Matthew 8:32), then I felt that maybe there was some demonically-related illness going on with Gracie. I thanked the Lord for dying on the cross and rising from His grave to give us the power to tread on serpents, (Luke 10:19) and this was one serpent I was definitely going to tread on. I told Him I knew it was not His will that she die – I kept repeating that and believing that. I told Him I knew that He gives good gifts to His children (Matthew 7:11, Luke 11:12).

I started telling Satan he was a liar, a thief and a destroyer (John 10:10). He had destroyed two marriages in my life, kept me from having children, took my beloved cat from me earlier in the year, and on and on. I told him he wasn’t going to steal anything else, and that included Gracie. I just ranted and raved at him and quoted scripture, like Proverbs 6:31, where a caught thief has to restore sevenfold. I told Satan to get out of her and get out of my house. When I got through with him, I started asking the Lord for healing for Gracie.

I think it was Wednesday night that I couldn’t sleep from worry. Demons of fear and anxiety kept waking me up. I had to keep rebuking them through the night.

Thursday night, I took a walk in my neighborhood and started praying in English and tongues. I kept meditating on the cat’s illness and I started to think about curses that may be causing her to be so sick. (Proverbs 6:2) I started breaking everything that came to my mind: spoken words from my father, the vet and his staff, like, “I don’t think she’s going to make it,” or “She’s probably going to die”, etc. I thought, she was an unwanted kitten, put in an orphanage. I broke curses like, “Great, that’s all we need, another cat”. I broke curses of rejection, and I asked the Lord to bless her and give her a long life. I broke curses like, “Black cats mean bad luck”, etc. I think the Holy Spirit was just bringing all these things to my mind. I started to picture her as an adult cat, living in my house. I asked the Lord to send ministering angels to Gracie (Hebrews 1:13-14) and to surround my house with angels who would cut off any enemy powers who would try to continue to distress the cat.

After my walk, I started to work on my computer on some worship overheads for the church. The thought entered my mind, “Anoint her with oil and pray.” (Mark 6:13) So, I got some olive oil and did that the next three nights.

Friday, I had to take her back to the vet because she was still in bad shape. As I was driving her there, I prayed for protection from any words or curses spoken against her. That day I had to spend a lot of time in my car delivering Christmas presents to clients, so I kept praying in English and tongues and singing songs to the Lord, whatever came to my mind. As I would pray, I would reaffirm out loud that Gracie was going to live and not die, and I was going to proclaim the works of the Lord for her (Psalm 118:17). I said out loud that I believed she was going to get well and live, and to let it be unto me according to my faith (Matthew 9:29). I continued to rebuke and get angry at the thoughts that were plaguing me that she was going to die. I became like the woman who kept troubling the judge (Luke 18:1-8) or like the friend who keeps knocking on their neighbor’s door in the middle of the night (Luke 11:5-13). The Holy Spirit was faithful to bring scriptures to my remembrance (John 14:26).

Saturday, I was on my own, the vet couldn’t take care of her. I think there was some doubt in the vet’s eyes that she would last the weekend. I had paid close attention to the instructions on how to feed her and give her medicine, and kept walking in my faith that she would come out of this. But it seemed like the enemy was trying to thwart my every good intention, such as with the humidifier incident, and the incident earlier in the week where I overfed her. That was also the day she went into the convulsions. When I would see the convulsions, I would go into a panic attack and start calling on the name of Jesus. I would say, “Jesus, You said if we called on Your name, we would be saved, so save me!” (Acts 2:21). And He did.

That night, I had to go to my company Christmas party. I really struggled with this because I knew I had to watch her to prevent her from going into convulsions. But I had to go to the party, so I just prayed, thanked (Eph. 5:20), rebuked, commanded, demanded, etc. When I came home, she was fine, but I just couldn’t bear to watch the breathing difficulty continue. I was concerned again about her lasting the night. Another thought entered my head: what if she suffocates tonight from all her congestion? I commanded the demon of suffocation to leave her alone and not even dare to come near. Then I thought about a teaching my mother had about the spirit of Lilith, the demon that causes “crib death” or SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). I thought, well, Gracie is a baby, so…I rebuked that spirit as well. The next morning, she was alive!

Sunday, she seemed even a little more alert, yet she still hadn’t eaten on her own. By early afternoon, though, we threw a little rabbit-hair mouse to her and she grabbed it in her mouth and wouldn’t let me have it. In fact, my sweet, skinny little kitty started growling and hissing at me! My mom said, I think she’s hungry!” I put out some food for her and she devoured it! Praise God! She ate like a pig the next four days.

I took her back to the vet a week later. They were amazed! They said, “That’s not the same cat!” She had gained 12 ounces in a week, almost 1/3 of her body weight the week before.

I still kept wondering why the Lord would not just instantly heal her, and dry up all the liquid that was causing her all the breathing problems, etc. And I wondered why it was the same thing with His children. Why sometimes instant, miraculous things happen in the areas of healings and sometimes they take more time. I don’t know the answer, but the thought came to my mind that in the area of healing, we have to use our spirit to do our spiritual warfare for our soul for what we can’t see with our physical eyes, and then we have to treat the physical things in our body that we see with our physical eyes, since we are composed of body, soul and spirit. So healings, in some cases, can take longer than we’d like because we’re dealing with soul AND body. We have to govern both areas. Whereas, many times with instant miracles, perhaps we’re only dealing more heavily with soulish and spiritual issues than we are with bodily issues, even though the body may be affected. I just kept thinking about that book I had recently read by Dodie Osteen where she fought daily with her cancer and was healed over a period of time by never giving in or giving up.

All my prayers and spiritual warfare against the enemy had worked. My faith had worked (as my mom said, I was “exercising my faith”). I give The Lord all the glory for His wonderful works (Psalm 107).

My sweet kitty turned from my little stuffy-nosed angel into a little hellion in the house! She’s into everything! He strengthened my kitty: “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (II Thessalonians 3:3)

This incident was a valuable lesson to me in prolonged spiritual warfare – how to walk in faith and fight the enemy. Sometimes we can’t have the immediate results we desire; that is why patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), and why we should trust God (Psalm 62:8). And that’s why we should never remove our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18), because like it or not, we are in a daily warfare with the enemy until Jesus returns.

Amen! Even so, come Lord Jesus! (Rev. 22:20)