Ingredients strewn across the counter, flour in my hair, succulent aromas, stacks of baking pans…my kitchen was put to good use today. We baked squares and cookies, chili and rice, cookies and cheesecake. The day was finally winding down. We were exhausted but pleased with our efforts. The meals we had prepared for the upcoming conference were sure to be a success.
With the fridge full to capacity, I covered the two cheesecakes (the pans had snap on lids) and set them on the deck to chill. As the weather cools, I often use the deck as an extra refrigerator. We fall into bed and dream of rest.
BANG BANG BANG
We heard the crashing sound as we woke from our deep sleep. Then we heard our son’s voice, “Get, shoo, go away you!” We sprang (as much as the middle aged do) out of bed and headed for the kitchen. Zac had a broom in his hand and was scolding a raccoon on the deck. This was not a tiny little thing. This guy was big. He had been storing up for winter and was probably the size of two basketballs with a head on top.
BANG BANG BANG, the crashing sounded again. Zac made a quick move and then slammed the deck door, panting and shaking his head. “Nothing was going to make him give it up, but I snatched it away from him, at last.” …The cheesecake!
The raccoons are getting ready for winter. This fellow must have smelled the dessert and figured he had won the lottery. Our son heard him come up the deck stairs and headed out to intercept him. By the time he got there, Mr. Raccoon was slamming the cake pan down trying to get the lid off. Zac grabbed the broom to shoo him away and succeeded in rescuing the larger of the two cheesecakes. While his back was turned, the smaller one was infiltrated and the raccoon tasted success. A couple more good shoos and the second pan was retrieved. Sorrowfully, it was too late for the cheesecake.
This raccoon was going to stop at nothing to get at that for which he was hungering. He knew that the effort was going to be worth the reward.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
The raccoon could tell by the smell that he was going to enjoy whatever was in that pan. He was willing to work for it.
Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.
“You heavens above, rain down righteousness; let the clouds shower it down. Let the earth open wide, let salvation spring up, let righteousness grow with it; I, the LORD, have created it.
The Bible tells us the source of righteousness. God provides. Our raccoon knew exactly what he needed…food to store up for the winter. He knew what he wanted…he could have had the compost from the bin but he could smell the sweetness of the cheesecake and it was so much better than what he could scavenge on his own.
When we are deciding whether or not to read our Bibles, pray or purpose to grow in the LORD, we need to consider the raccoon. Are we willing to take some knocks in order to gain what is best? Are we willing to pursue righteousness even when it is not easy? Are we willing to make storing up God’s word in our hearts a vital part of preparing for the hard times?
I seek you with all my heart;
do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you.
Praise be to you, O LORD.