I answered the phone to Grey gleefully shouting that the first calf of the season had been born! Harlow and I rushed to the window to see a brand-new baby with its glowing white face shining through the field. Our youngest spunky Hereford had just given birth to her first calf and was standing beside it protectively.
We watched from afar for a few days, admiring the bright white face and awkward steps the calf took as it was moved from place to place by the mama feeding in different areas. Sunday afternoon, we eased up beside it on the golfcart so Grey and Harlow could see it up close.
To our dismay, this tiny thing jumped up and ran! Now, this is to be expected, as cows are pretty skittish after the first day or so Earth-side. What I have never seen is how far a few days old calf can run! Like a red dart, it took off through three sets of fencing across three different property lines.
We didn’t immediately chase her, as a calf that young typically sprints to a safer area and then lays down to recover. The mama cows will then bellow out, enticing the young ones back to the herd.
But nope, this wild thing kept right on running – straight into a heavily wooded swamp! Ben jumped into action, chasing after the calf on the ATV in order to bring it back to safety. Other family members were quick to aid in the search for our beloved firstborn.
Grey, Harlow and I hung back on the golf cart. All of this warm weather provides the perfect recipe for a rattlesnake rally. As we eyed the tree line for any movement or streak of red hair, Harlow called out to Jesus to keep the calf safe and bring it home. Grey reminded us of the lesson they had at church recently about God calling us by name. He prayed that God would call the calf by name and bring it back home.
I was overcome with their intentional prayer, but also holding my breath, knowing that if the calf had made it too far, surely it would be coyote bait.
All the efforts were to no avail. Ben drug himself back to the house with no calf in tow, dreading hearing the moos of a mama in mourning as she beckoned the calf back to our field.
We are always transparent with the kids about the ins and outs of how a farm works, but it usually goes a bit above their heads. They were anxious as we tucked them into their beds, not sure what the following day would hold.
It wasn’t lost on me that this mama had my babies snuggly accounted for.
As I drifted off to sleep, I prayed for my shepherd husband at the loss of not only potential money but also feeling of failure in providing for his herd.
Yall. I know the Bible uses a ton of agricultural and animal-related references, but dang if they aren’t accurate! THE CALF MADE IT BACK!!
I mean, literally against all odds and without food/nutrition. This calf was bound and determined to cross back over three fields, three fences, around two ponds, and most certainly snakes and coyotes.
When we woke on Monday, there it was, resting in the shade of the pine trees we planted by hand all those years ago.
I didn’t even have a chance to say it before Harlow shouted, “Jesus heard us when we prayed!”
It takes a lot to surprise me, but this has had me SHOOK this week. When He says He will make a way where there is no way, He means it. When He says He will leave the 99 to go find the 1 who went astray, He means it. When He says He will make stream in the desert, He means it.
I’ve experienced this love of the shepherd in my own life, but to get to watch it play out for my kids was so, so sweet. What a tangible way to see that God is faithful and that He keeps His promises.
I share this to stir your affections. Everyone loves a cute story, especially one that has a feel-good ending and involves cute little baby animals. But I hope this shows you that God sees us in this same way. He really will send the calvary after us – whether that is through friends, co-workers, or your cashier. He will open doors of opportunity and there will always be a way out of whatever you’re going through. He never leaves us nor forsakes us, even when we can’t see Him chasing after us.
He willingly left His throne to become fully man, enduring all of the trials we face as humans, all the way to death, so that we don’t have to. He came to rescue YOU.
If you’ve found yourself trying to figure out how to rejoin your herd or even find a new one, reach out to someone. We were never meant to do life alone. We were never meant to figure out all of the answers by ourselves. He is a very present help in our time of need. If you are in need, He will provide someone to be there to help you.
If you feel like you don’t have anyone else to turn to, turn to Jesus. The great shepherd who calls you by name and leads you back to safety. You don’t have to stay in a place of fear and turmoil. There is a place at the table waiting for you.
Ps – message me if this feels like you and you need a friend to talk to
Isaiah 43:19 “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Matthew 18:12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?”
John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
Psalm 119:176 “I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.”
Hebrews 11:11 “And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise.”
2 Chronicles 6:15 “You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father. You made that promise with your own mouth, and with your own hands you have fulfilled it today.”