Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Of great worth

Life lesson 101: never trust a talking cat.
You need look no further than Babe the pig for anecdotal evidence that cats aren't the most trustworthy of talking animals. One of my all time favorite movies is Babe. It is rated G, came out in 1995 and features a lovable "sheep pig" who, although fully pig, believes he is a sheep herder. Babe is the ultimate lover of all creation and the sweetest darn hairless farm animal that ever hit the big screen. This isn't a matter of opinion, it is fact. Babe is the kind of pig a movie goer can't help but fall in love with.
Which is what makes the cat in the movie all the more infuriating. The farm cat, beloved and spoiled rotten by the farmer's wife, doesn't share in my love for Babe. Actually, her feelings for Babe are quite the opposite. The cat has it out for Babe. One evening the cat employs a deceitful tactic to try to rid the farm of Babe, the beloved sheep pig who has captured a special place in the heart of the farmer and the other animals. 
In the dark of night, the cat, purring with an evil tone in her voice, says to Babe, "You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but I'm not sure if you realize how much the other animals are laughing at you for this sheep dog business."
Babe replied, "Why would they do that?"
Cat said, "Well, they say that you've forgotten that you're a pig. Isn't that silly? And they even said that you don't know what pigs are for."
After more questioning by Babe, the cat finally said with authority, "The fact is that pigs don't have a purpose, just like ducks don't have a purpose." Then the evil cat went on to say that the only purpose for a pig was to be eaten. Pigs were only good if they were made into pork. Or bacon. But pigs were useless if alive. 
Poor Babe was so shaken and upset by this news that he went running out of the house. He ran straight to his adopted dog mother, Fly, and asked her what happened to all the pigs that were carted off on big trucks, like his brothers, sisters and pig mom. Fly had to admit the truth, they probably became someone's dinner. Babe was devastated. He had no idea that his life was worthless, only valuable as a meal on a hungry diner's plate. 
But the truth is Babe wasn't worthless at all. He had so much value and worth that the farmer nursed Babe back to health when he was injured and went searching for him when he went missing in the fields. The farmer loved Babe and cared deeply for his safety and wellbeing. The farmer didn't want anything to do with Babe's possibility as dinner; he wanted Babe alive and healthy so he could be an asset in the field as a sheep pig. Babe's herding method wasn't conventional but it was of great worth and value to the farmer who saw great potential in his little pig. 
The cat had been lying to Babe. That sinister cat just wanted to get rid of Babe and cause the sweet pig harm. The cat probably wanted Babe to become dinner so she could have some pork! The cat knew that the farmer loved the pig but that didn't stop her from telling a lie to achieve her own means. She wanted Babe out of the picture, off of the farm and out of her living room. So she lied. She twisted facts, distorted reality and sent Babe off running for the hills far away from the beloved care of the farmer. 
In the end, the farmer went out looking for Babe and found the poor pig shivering in the bushes, fearing that he would become the next holiday's centerpiece on the dinner table. The farmer had no such plans for Babe. No, the farmer had grand schemes and ideas that included Babe herding as a sheep pig, not as a breakfast bacon or Christmas pork feast. 
Dear Reader, sometimes you and I are a lot like Babe. We listen to the lies of another evil scheming deceiver and believe his lies. We listen to the serpent, the devil, satan himself. He wants us to believe that we are worthless. Satan twists the facts, distorts our realities and plays with our weaknesses till we believe that we are of no value to our great Shepherd, the Farmer of all farmers, our Heavenly Father. The devil wants to drag us down into a pit, out into a bush away from our Savior, and he accomplishes this by telling us lies and selling it to us as truth. 
But, just like Babe, you and I aren't worthless. The lies of a talking cat or the devil himself are just that, lies. They are meant to deceive and destroy us. But they aren't reality. You and I are not useless and pointless. Just like the farmer saw great value in Babe, God sees great value and worth in you and me, His beloved children. 
Jesus reassured us of this in Luke 12:24 when He said, "Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds." You and I, beloved, are more valuable than the birds of the air and the flowers of the field. We may look at them and wonder, what value do they have? What good are the flowers? What purpose does a bird fulfill? And yet God takes care of them. We may not see their value but God does and He watches over them and preserves them. 
God cares for you and me and sees great worth and incomprehensible value in our very lives. You and I are not purposeless. Even when the devil whispers lies and falsehoods, tempting you to believe that your life is worth nothing, don't buy into his deception. Remember the truth of God. You are valuable. You are of great worth. You have a purpose. God cares so much for you that He will take care of you and preserve your life. You are a precious treasure to the Lord. You are His beloved creation. 
Babe had to be reminded by his dog mother that he was a great sheep pig and very important to the farmer. He had a big job to do in the fields and a big prize to win at the sheep herding competition. The farmer needed Babe. Sometimes you and I need that same reminding. We are of great value to our Farmer, God. He is has big plans for us and a great future ahead. So don't go off running in fear, believing you are of no use. That line is all a big lie from the evil one. Turn back to your Farmer and see His smiling face shining down on you. Listen to the love and care in His voice as He says, "That'll do Pig, that'll do." 

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