Without Faith, We Fall

On April 30, 2017, God blessed our little ranch with the first calf born on this property. We named the beautiful little gal “Uno”, Italian for one. As you might imagine, I was one nervous fella waiting for my first-time heifer to deliver. I had my vet on call, texting him throughout the day. I called my friends Donnie and Gary multiple times to ask questions. Then, about 5:30 pm, Frances delivered in less than three hours of labor. While she tended her baby, I watched from afar as other expectant mothers gathered round to investigate.

After twenty minutes, the little calf made it to her feet and took her first wobbly steps. You can imagine the joy and elation I expressed to God in that moment. I’m certain neighbors who drove down the dusty gravel road we live on must have thought I lost my mind. I stood in the middle of my driveway, arms and eyes raised to heaven, praising Abba for His blessing.

One proud Grandpa, I thought all was going well; asking everyone to come over and admire my calf. Two days later, mama was lying with the other cows and I couldn’t see her calf. I’ve seen mamas put their calves down and hide them while they feed, rest, and recover. After six hours of not seeing the calf, I worried.

I imagined coyotes. I wondered if the calf had gotten the needed colostrum. In my worry, Satan sneaked into my thoughts. I convinced myself the little calf was lying dead or dying out in the tall rye grass and clover—abandoned to die alone. Filled with rage, I told myself if the mama cow had done that; she was going to the auction this week. There’s no place for a poor mother in my herd.

As I drove back and forth across my pasture, I leaned out over the front of the UTV trying to spot the calf (this was just before cataract surgeries). I asked God why He allowed this calf to die. What did I do that didn’t honor You Father? When and where did I fail you? Why would you punish me by letting this calf die? I knew in my heart, God does nothing to harm His children and brings good from every situation if we submit to His leading. I uttered these questions because in even the most mature Christians; we remain human. Satan often attacks our vulnerabilities using our inherent human nature.

After a lengthy search—driving slowly through the tall grass to not run over the calf—I found her. She was doing exactly what mama had prodded her to do; lay there camouflaged and be still until she returned. The Holy Spirit then convicted me of my “crisis of faith.” I knelt beside the little calf and thanked God for His faithfulness. I begged Him to help me grow stronger in my faith.

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Amid my prayer, I heard the recognizable still voice in my heart; “If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all.” (Isaiah 7:9, NLT). Great joy comes from knowing the truth of God’s Word dwells within our heart. In His truth, we have constant reassurance that our Father is always with us.

We all have times when we question God; when we don’t understand His ways or reasons. We sometimes succumb to temptations and trials through a chink in our Armor of God. I share this to remind each of us how important our faith is in our Christian walk. I pray this helps remind us of an important truth—Without Faith, We Fall.

Three years later and Uno has delivered her first calf, “Giovanni.” I still watch over my cattle; praying over each of them daily. I can’t say whether it’s that I’m a more experienced rancher or a more faithful Christian, but I’m much less stressed these days—knowing I can depend on God.

God’s blessings,

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44 thoughts on “Without Faith, We Fall

  1. First- you know how much I love the names you chose:). Secondly – reading Psalm 107 this morning and then your post once more reminds me the steadfast love of the Lord never fails me- not always removal of a trial but His faithful accompaniment. My faith is in a trustworthy God. Thank you for you let illustration.

    1. Amen! He’s always right there with us; whatever we might face my friend. Psalm 107 is always a comfort isn’t it? “… for He is good.” Thank you so much for commenting and sharing ma’am.

  2. I so relate to what Nancy said and I pray that often! No matter how long we’ve walked with the Lord we all have our moments of “human-ness”. Beautiful, J.D. and a much appreciated reminder especially in this world we find ourselves in.

    1. Yes ma’am Ms. Ann. We all have our moments of weakness. I remind myself each day of Satan’s response to God in the story of Job; “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” (JOB 2:2, NKJV) He is always seeking to disrupt, discourage, divide, and destroy.

  3. Without faith, we absolutely will fall, and as humans, we too often succumb to our immediate fears and woes. Thank you, J. D., for sharing this personal story of a faith crisis; we sinners can all relate!
    God bless!
    (So glad Uno’s story has a happy ending!)

    1. Thank you Ms. Martha. I think key is that even though we might fall now and again; our heavenly Father is there to pick us up, dust us off, and get us moving forward again.

  4. I love that we can look back and see our “growing pains” – or faith building moments. Looking back helps me move forward when I’m facing fear or anxious times. Congrats on your second generation born on the ranch!

  5. I could feel your concern about the little calf and am glad Uno was safe. So often, we rely on our own emotions instead of trusting God’s plan. I am thankful He gives me opportunities to try again. I am thankful to be learning so much about farm life from you. Thank you dear friend. Your messages are inspirational.

    1. Aww shucks Ms. Melissa. Such kindness ma’am; thank you! I’ve wondered many times in this life why I hit my knees last instead of first in situations like these.

  6. First I love the choice of names! Second, my reading today of Psalm 107 coordinated with your blog-the steadfast love of a faithful God. Thanks again for a great read.

    1. Yes ma’am. I am sometimes overwhelmed with God’s love. Especially in those moments when I feel so unworthy of it. Yet, His promises remind me that we are wonderfully made. As the old adage goes, “God don’t make no junk.” I just need to remember to live that way some days.

  7. Thank you, beautiful stpry. Congratulations on your second generation of ranch babies. The country needs more hearts like yours.
    God bless you always.

    1. Thank you Ms. Joyce. If only folks realized how much they need God. We’ll keep praying and helping guide as many as we can won’t we my friend? God’s blessings

  8. What a good illustration, J.D. The devil so wants us to doubt; fear, like anger, gives him a foothold in our lives. Without faith, we are certainly more prone to fall victim to his schemes. That prayer of the father in Mark echoes my own: I believe! Lord, help my unbelief.

  9. With all my heart, I want to please God. Scripture tells me how: “Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” And so we must believe, first that He exists, and second, that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. Thank you for this reminder that to doubt is to disbelieve. May we both grow ever stronger in our faith!

    1. Indeed Ms. Jeanne. There are days when it seems I can’t even make it out of bed in the morning without God’s help. He’s always there for is isn’t He ma’am? Thank you so much for your kind words.

  10. Oh, J.D., what an unnerving experience!
    I cannot count the number of times I have crashed into fear, allowing my faith to waiver. Then I’ve scolded myself for falling short of trusting God.
    This was a wonderful example of doing just that. I praise God with you that Uno was fine and rejoice in the birth of her little one.
    Thank you for sharing another ranch story that exemplifies growth in our faith walk.

    1. Such kindness. Thank you Ms. Connie. I’m learning that in the struggle, I find strength. To face uncertain situations, like the times we are living in today, we need more faith than ever before.

  11. I have sometimes felt that same sense of wavering faith when I fear the worst for one of my dogs. I have learned that Satan knows it is one of my trigger points when it involves my furry children. I must remind myself that faith is stronger than superstition. Unfortunately, because of my human nature, I still have to remind myself at times! Nice post. I’m always glad to read your happy endings.

    1. I think we humans are created with that inane need to care for things that depend on us for a reason Ms. Karen. I believe it is so we can learn to rely on God the same way our furry friends and loved ones depend upon us. God’s blessings ma’am.

  12. J.D., your ranch story reminds us of the importance of storing Scripture in our hearts so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to our minds. Thank you for an everyday example we can apply wherever we live.

    1. Amen Ms. Jeannie. God’s word, for me, works like a “spiritual circuit breaker.” When I sense Satan attacking through fear, anxiety, duress, etc., I call upon the storehouse of God’s promises to stop the attack before it can escalate further. I wish I could sense it better than I do sometimes, but standing on His promises is the best way I know to overcome a crisis of faith in my life. Thank you ma’am.

  13. Oh, so thankful Uno was okay. I was worried there for a bit too. Love how you said we have a “chink in our Amor of God.” Then we question God our faith fails and falls. Beautiful analogy and imagery as always, J.D.

    This reminded me of something the Lord whispered to my heart once, “Faith is the firm ground where we stand waiting on the Lord to fulfill His promises.”

  14. What a beautiful story. I can relate to what you said about faith, not about birthing calves. LOL. You’ve greatly encouraged me to stand firm in my faith in the face of terrible trials. Praise God that He is faithful even when we aren’t. Thanks, JD.

    1. Thank you Ms. Jean. God certainly in faithful isn’t He ma’am? I think back across my life and I can recall some of the many times when I have failed him in not living in faith and proclaiming His truth. Yet, in each case, He was steadfast and never-changing. Oh to repay Him with the same loyalty and love He showers us with.

  15. A sweet story! Were the next calves Dos, Tres, Quatros, etc.?” (haha). I’ve had those crashes of faith too, like so many of your readers, so we can identify. What a loving Heavenly Father to scold us, then hug us. Thanks again for the story.

    1. No ma’am. 🙂 Afraid not. Diane decided to pursue Italian family members after that. My great nieces got to name one born near Christmas, and I’ve named two; but for the most part Ms Diane approves/names the calves. It’s always a wonderful reunion when we return to our right relationship with Christ isn’t it ma’am? God’s blessings.

  16. Ah yes, we are human. Our faith falters, but thankfully God is patient with us and knows our weakness. I also think God allows us to question as long as we come to Him with our questions. It’s part of the relationship. He doesn’t want a robot. And He is gracious to answer, even when we cry out to Him in anger or doubt.

  17. As I find myself in a season of trial, definite chinks (holes) in my Armor of God often appear. Satan sends doubts, questioning, frustration, and anger. And, then I fall before my God and confess my fears and He picks me up, brushes me off, and says, “Don’t you know I am ALWAYS with you.” Humbled and chastised I stand before Him and praise His faithfulness and trustworthiness and try to do better. Thanks for your encouragement today.

    1. I love the image your words paint of standing before Him, humbled and chastised in love. We all have these moments when our faith seems to fail us; yet in turning to God we recognize it may have faltered but it didn’t fail us. Look where we end up? God’s blessings Ms. Katherine.

  18. Without faith, we fall is indeed an important truth. It’s so easy to question God. Although we know that He knows what He’s doing, we’d like Him to fill in some of the details for us, wouldn’t we? So happy Uno was safe!

    1. So very true Ms. LuAnn. I’ve often wondered if in these tests (not trials), God is looking to see how much we’ve grown or is He showing us how much more growth we need. Thank you so much for commenting ma’am.

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