Happy June everyone! In honor of Father's Day being this month, I am posting a special blog post with words from my husband - lessons from the ranch from Chad:) These were compiled (and slightly edited) from a few different Facebook posts he posted late last year/early this year. I hope you all enjoy!
Many of you know we’ve moved to a pretty big chunk of land, started a cattle company, and remodeled an older house. This journey has done many things in me. I’ve learned so much about walking by faith, leaning on the Lord, and giving Him control. There are so many things you can learn about your relationship with God through working cattle.
Right now we have 61 pregnant cows. Everything they need is on my shoulders. They don’t worry, they just live. They constantly attempt to push the boundaries of the safety I provide for them by trying to find new ways to get out of the fence - only to rush back in when I open the gate to provide what they need that they couldn’t get on the outside. They know my voice when I call, and they’ll typically run to me. They respond to my gentle voice when they are close to me. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
God provides everything for us, surrounds us with protection, searches for us when we get out, and opens the gate to welcome us back in. He speaks to us in a soft voice when we are close, but calls our name loudly when we are away. The Bible tells us not to worry about anything. Today, know that you have a loving Father, Shepherd, Provider, Protector, and God who is seeking you out. Trust God today with everything you have and everything you need. Believe he’s in control and that he has you in his best interest. He’s a good, good Father! I’m learning that more and more everyday.
Today, in two different pastures, two different things happened. In one field, a momma had a healthy, bouncing, strong little black and white calf. In another field, separated by a few strands of wire, another mother struggled to get up on her own after losing her calf. Life and death separated by yards.
To be the rancher (steward), you get to be the hand that intervenes in both. You mourn with the momma that can’t stand well after the birth of a calf too big. Your heart breaks as she returns to the place she gave birth, searching and bellowing for a calf that won’t ever return her call. You feel pain as she checks other calves in hopes of finding the one she lost.
As a Christ follower, I am constantly nudged by the Holy Spirit when working with these cows. Today, the Lord reminded me that his heart breaks when our heart breaks. He hurts when we hurt, and He walks with us through it. At times He walks in front to lead us where we need to be. At times He walks behind, gently pushing us to safety.
Simply put, the Lord loves you. He rejoices with you in the greatest days of life, and He mourns with you in the hardest. He doesn’t leave you, He doesn’t forsake you. Even in the darkest hours of the night, He’s up in the distance making sure you’re safe. He’s a good, good Father. If you are tired of fighting for your desired direction, give it up. Accept Him and let Him lead you.
Another long night at the ranch recently, a night that lasted well into the morning. At about 7pm I had a heifer start laboring, and eventually I had to pull her calf. The calf was really large, and the heifer ended up prolapsing severely. My neighbor and his son came down to assist, but eventually we realized there was nothing we could do. I had to place my attention on the calf.
The calf was alive, but it needed milk. I got it into the barn, and for an hour I wrestled with this large newborn calf, trying to get it to take the milk. It was cold, and every breath that came out of both of us filled the barn. I finally finished and leaned against the wall of the barn for a few minutes just to watch the little guy. That’s when the Holy Spirit nudged me yet again.
We hang in the balance of life and death every day.
We wrestle at times against the things the Lord is trying to give us to help us grow and sustain our life. It’s only when we decide to take the first milk that our eyes are opened to what is being given to us. Then we “taste and see that the Lord is good,” and we devour what’s being fed to us - life! See, death is not the last breath you breathe on earth. Death is complete separation from God. As a believer in Jesus, when we leave this earth our last breath out is our first inhale in the presence of God. Choose today to accept what God is trying to give you to sustain your life. The first gulp is sometimes the hardest, but with Him you will never thirst again. He’s a good, good Father!
Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.