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Cats Have Nine Lives. How About You?

Cat with 9 lives showing how God's saves us

An old English proverb suggests the furry felines that rule our houses and demand immediate attention by rubbing our legs have nine lives. “A cat has nine lives. For three he plays, for three he strays and for the last three he stays." Even Shakespeare mentions the notion in Romeo and Juliet. “Good king of cats, nothing but one of your nine lives that I mean to make bold withal, and, as you shall use me hereafter, dry beat the rest of the eight.”

Background for the Saying

One explanation justifying this myth suggests this reputation was earned by cats’ ability to jump off high places and land on their feet. Another notes their alleged ability over the years to survive circumstances that should have ended life number one. The explanation could also be cats were worshiped by the Egyptians, and the number nine was considered magical in ancient times.

My Harrowing Experiences

I’m not sure about you, but I’m not envious of our feline friends because I’m on life number five and counting. I looked back on my life the other day and was amazed—and thankful—for how many times I should have died, but survived. Have you ever looked back on your life and revisited times when you should have died?

Instead of being crushed and flattened, I survived.

I’m sure there were previous close calls, but the first I remember is falling asleep at the wheel and ending up in a creek. My car was totaled and my face bent the steering wheel, but I survived because the homeowner earlier in the day started building a small stone wall in her front yard.

My car hit one of the stones and veered away from a massive tree. I survived.

The next year, I was using a hydraulic jack to hold up a mobile home in which I was living. The jack slipped and the home lowered until it touched my back and stopped. One of the supporting beams came to rest on a building block sitting beside me.

Instead of being crushed and flattened, I survived.

Heading towards Indiana in my VW during a blizzard, I down shifted the car too quickly. The car spun around a couple times. When it stopped, it was facing in the wrong direction. I looked up and saw a tractor trailer coming. I distinctly remember looking up and seeing the driver’s wide, terrified eyes looking down on me as his rig came to a stop.

I survived.

God Protected Me

I could go on and chronicle at least three other close calls, but suffice to say, I have much for which to be thankful, not for luck, not for “fates,” and certainly nothing I did. There’s no doubt in my mind, the God who created and sustains all that exists, prompted that woman to place a stone in front of the tree, had me position that building block just right, and brought that big rig to a stop.

There are times when we immediately know our life has been spared. Most of the time, we go through life unaware of the people and events that come into our lives at just the right time. If the truth be told from God’s perspective, the number of times we escaped death could be in the hundreds, or even thousands.

Have You Thanked God?

It’s said cats have nine lives. I’m sure I have many more than our furry friends, given what God has already done for me. How about you? Whether it was just after a close call, or when reviewed your life, how many times have you said, “Thank God!”

Additional reading:

Listen to God's Words

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10).

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Also read: Psalm 91:1-16, Romans 8:31, James 1:2-3

In the Words of Others

“A God wise enough to create me and the world is wise enough to watch out for me.” Philip Yancey

“We may not see it now but God is in control and has a reason for everything.” William Hemsworth

“Worship strengthens you. It gives you a sense of God’s presence and ultimately His protection and provision.” J.D. Jakes

Think About It

  • Recall how many times people, events, or other circumstances played a role in saving your life. Replay the situations in your mind, paying attention to what may have made the crucial difference between life and death. How do you feel about it?

  • What did you tell people when you experienced those close calls? Did you say you were just lucky, or did you give God the credit, and even praise and thank him? After you consider your past experiences, what would you say in the future?

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