We’ve all been there. That moment when it seems everyone else has abandoned you. You’re on your own and not sure you’re up to the challenge. My moment came in the middle of a pasture; with a cold rain falling and darkness all around. What do you do in that moment? I prayed.
As much as we plan, as prepared as we think we are, things happen in our lives that remind us we are not in control. On December 30th, I helped a first-time heifer deliver her calf. We never plan it this way. In fact, we always expect calves born in our clean, dry barns on bright clear days. Ah, reality strikes again.
I kept a close watch on “Ms. Lynn” for days. This was the last of my heifers to calve this year. First-time births can be troublesome as the mama cows have never delivered before; so the labor and birthing experience is new to them. Many factors play a role in calf development. Genetics of both sire and dam, feed intake the last few months of gestation, and nature itself all combine to determine the size and health of a calf.
An adage is big cows have big calves. I’ve learned this is not always true. In “Ms. Lynn’s” case, the heaviest cow in my small herd, it proved true beyond any doubt. The average weight of calves born before December 30th was seventy pounds. Her calf was an overachiever. Weighing in at nearly one hundred pounds, it is easy to see why this delivery was such a problem.
Once I determined the need to pull this calf, I phoned my veterinarian. He was on another farm call and unable to come. I’ve learned a great deal about farming and ranching since starting the Cross-Dubya in 2013. What I continue learning is where to place my trust.
Among my favorite scripture verses, those I hold dear in my heart, the words of King Solomon in Proverbs 3:5-6 ring true. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV). I have many bad traits and habits in my life. Chief among them, I all too often attempt to do things myself, in my power.
God, in His wisdom, is a master at humbling us as He works to mold us and make us useful for His kingdom. I’m certain I am one of His most challenging children. When it came time to act, I uttered a prayer. “God, I need your help to get through this. I’m not sure what I’m doing here, but I need to save this calf and mama.” Next, I sent a text to my friend “Am pulling this calf alone here. Say a prayer buddy.” What I never stopped to realize is how I was not alone. I was not abandoned. It was never a case of me against the world.
For three hours, I sat in the cold, rain, and mud trying to help deliver the calf. With every pull, every attempt, I cried out to God. I begged, pleaded, and yelled at God to help me; reminding Him of His word and His promises. With a final pull, I delivered the calf. Soon, the twelve hundred pound mama was standing over her calf, giving it her full attention. As I removed the birthing chain and backed away to safety, I knelt and raised my hands to praise God for His faithfulness.
Sitting in the ATV, covered in mud, sweat, tears, and lots of funky smelling stuff, I pondered how God must have felt during all this. Was He amused at my struggle, knowing full well the outcome? I wondered if He thought “My child, if you had prayed like that to start, we wouldn’t have had to work this hard.” Did I offend Him with my outbursts and screams or did He smile to Himself and utter “It’s about time you rely on me you knucklehead.” Somehow though, I can’t see God calling me a “knucklehead.”
In the night’s stillness I realized something. Prayer becomes most fervent when we humans realize no other options exist. Click To Tweet
I pray you learn this lesson of faith much easier than I did. This world, our strength, and our health always fail us; God’s promises never will. Turn to Him faster; pray to Him with great fervor.