Today a miracle happened!
We have two cats named Ephraim & Judah. Their mother, a feral cat, brought them to us as kittens in August of 2015. We named them Ephraim and Judah before we knew they were female!
On December 7, 2017, we let both Ephraim and Judah outside. Late that evening a storm came through the area and the cats must have found shelter somewhere. The next day Judah came home, but Ephraim did not. My husband Tommy and I spent the next 4 days walking the neighborhood looking for Ephraim and putting up lost cat posters.
On day 5, Ephraim came home! We were so excited and shared the story with our Pastor friend Joey. He commented that it was very interesting that we “went looking for Ephraim” because that is the ministry we are involved with! Tommy and I work with Pete & Kelly Rambo to organize the South Carolina National Shabbat, which is a gathering to help Ephraim “find each other”! We are also involved with B’ney Yosef North America , whose vision statement is “The regathering and reconciliation of the North American portion of the House of Yosef/Ephraim (Northern Israel)!
This story has an interesting twist.
On December 31, 2017, our cat Judah was getting restless so we let her out. That evening there were fireworks in the neighborhood that probably scared her and she didn’t return home. For the next week we had record cold temperatures and snow. We live in South Carolina…our cats have NEVER seen snow or been in the severe cold. Ephraim stayed in the house. We looked and called for Judah every day, to no avail.
Yesterday, 1/9/18, after walking the neighborhood and putting up lost cat posters, we let Ephraim out because the snow had melted and the ice was gone. We jokingly told her to go find Judah and bring her home. Our cats go out and return at night because we have a dog guest who is out in the yard during the day.
Tonight, at the 9pm hour when we usually call for the cats, I went outside and called to both Ephraim and Judah to come home. I could not believe my eyes!!!!! Ephraim came first and right behind her was Judah! She was missing for 11 days! Praise Yah! Ephraim brought Judah home!
So what does this all mean?
Our Father, YHVH, is gathering the Children of Israel:
Deuteronomy 30:1-6 HNV 1 It shall happen, when all these things are come on you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations, where the LORD your God has driven you, 2 and shall return to the LORD your God, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul; 3 that then the LORD your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples, where the LORD your God has scattered you. 4 If [any of] your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of the heavens, from there will the LORD your God gather you, and from there will he bring you back: 5 and the LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and he will do you good, and multiply you above your fathers. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.
Isaiah 11:11-13 NASB 11 Then it will happen on that day that the Lord Will again recover the second time with His hand The remnant of His people, who will remain, From Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, And from the islands of the sea. 12 And He will lift up a standard for the nations And assemble the banished ones of Israel, And will gather the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. 13 Then the jealousy of Ephraim will depart, And those who harass Judah will be cut off; Ephraim will not be jealous of Judah, And Judah will not harass Ephraim.
Jeremiah 31:7-10 NASB 7 For thus says the LORD, “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel.’ 8 “Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great company, they will return here. 9 “With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make them walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.” 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, And declare in the coastlands afar off, And say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him And keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.”
Maybe the saga of the “lost” cats, Ephraim & Judah, is a reminder that the “lost” tribes are being “found” and returning home.
May it be soon and in our day!