During the time Jonah was angry with God, the Lord made a plant to grow up during the night to shade him. When the Lord saw fit to have the plant wither and die the next day, Jonah was even angrier with God. While our current circumstance is not exactly parallel to Jonah's, the similarities are sure.
Our barn cats are a needful and effective addition to our farm. Without their proficiency in eliminating mice and moles, we would be overrun with snakes. When the cats step out of the realm of mice and moles, and into birds and, as in the present case, baby squirrels, our Deuteronomy 6 role changes. Instead of confidently proclaiming God's wisdom and ways, we quietly ponder the mysteries of His will, praising Him with certainty in the former, and by faith in the latter.
Yesterday afternoon our children rescued a baby squirrel from one of the barn cats. They researched how to nurse him back to health, and exuded all that is tender care and concern for him. They optimistically ignored the statistics that showed squirrels rarely surviving cat encounters. They prayed for his recovery, and in a mother's humble opinion, did everything possible to ensure his return to health.
His death late last night was a hard blow to the children. After the funeral, it should prove to be a hard lesson as well. "Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night" Jonah 4:10. When their compassion for the squirrel is compared to their compassion for their siblings, my prayer is that they are equally grieved.