My Favorite Word Picture for Submission

A flowing scarf, grass rustling in the slightness breeze, a buoy staying afloat despite tumultuous waves.

These are all word pictures that connote a compliant spirit.

And then, of course, there’s the Scriptural metaphor of us being moldable clay.

“…Can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand….” (Jer 18:6)

But my favorite word picture for submission is one that might surprise you.

I used to have an unusual cat, Rascal. He was feisty but also had a compliant nature, at least for a cat. He often came when I called, frequently stayed on my lap when I picked him up. He let me clean his gooky eyes which required a firm but gentle wiping with a wet tissue. Rascal also allowed me to clip his nails, provided I did so when he was calm and on my lap.

This was in stark contrast to my first cat, Britty Brat, in which nail clipping was a major ordeal. It took both my husband and I and it was always a dangerous endeavor! What made the difference in Rascal?


When Rascal was just a kitten I would touch and fondle his paws without doing any clipping. Plus I’d stopped at the slightest resistance. He got used to it and realized no harm would come to him.

Can you and I do the same thing when it comes to our Lord? Rascal didn’t like having his nails clipped, but he let me remove those sharp claws. Since he sat on my lap often, I knew if his nails needed clipping, and which ones. I would not tolerate piercing nails into my skin when he wanted to cuddle!God won’t tolerate my sin either when I come into His presence and want to be close. Rascal didn’t realize that he was hurting me. Neither do I always know I am hurting my Savior unless He tells me. When He does tell me, I have a choice.

I can be compliant by confessing, repenting and letting Him deal with that displeasing issue.


I can run away like Rascal sometimes did.

If we go into God’s presence frequently, with an open and yielded heart, He can clip away those sinful areas—one at a time. It doesn’t have to be such an ordeal every time we go into His presence, fearful of what He may reveal. After all, if the Holy Spirit doesn’t expose where we are wrong how in the world could we ever change any offensive thinking or behavior? (See Ps 139:23-24)

One cannot force relational intimacy. Both parties must desire it. God wants you to know Him in a deeply profound way.

Will you let Him have His perfect way in you?

Of all these wonderful metaphors, my amenable Rascal is my favorite because I can relate to this word picture more than all the others. He wasn’t completely yielded—just like me. After all, he was just a cat and I am only human.

Wait, that’s not totally true! I am not only human. I have a new nature, a divine-like nature given to me when I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior (2 Cor 5:17).

Therefore, I can learn to respond in my new nature. Plus, my new nature wants to be more compliant (unlike my kitty). I can learn to be submissive. And my friend, so can you!

So until next time, draw close to your heavenly Father—get into His lap; only be willing to let Him clip away those sharp displeasing areas in your life. Trust me—yielding is MUCH less painful!

P.S. Rascal is no longer with me, but his memory lives on. You can read more about what happened to him and how God helped me to accept the loss of my beloved cat in this blog: What Can Be Gained in the Loss of a Pet?

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