It was early morning. Dark and cold. Richard pulled on rubber boots and stood in the doorway.
“I know she’s out there,” he said.
As a city girl who married her handsome farmer, the work and hours still amazed me.
Out of 120 cows, one hadn’t come up at 4 a.m. She was due to calve and the frigid weather was not a safe haven.
As a newlywed, I wrapped up in clothes still unfamiliar. Coveralls. Rubber boots. Thick socks. Gloves, a scarf, and a warm cap.
Mud pulled at my boots, sucking my feet into mire. After several minutes of this, I was breathing hard with exertion. At the back of the pasture, dead trees and bushes snarled together along a creek.
Richard climbed up a steep bank. “You can wait for me,” he said.
I crawled and stumbled up, slipping and sliding until I stood beside him.
And then we saw her.
Her sides heaving. Her tail in the air. Her nostrils flared. Richard scrambled down beside her and we both saw the calf trying to emerge.
How long had she been in distress?
Brambles pulled at my coveralls and snagged my scarf. Richard began to gently talk to the momma cow, and work with her to pull the calf. The trees and brambles and bushes created a shelter of sorts, but the barn would have offered fresh hay and warmth.
She left the herd, not uncommon, but went far from safety in the process.
The calf was finally delivered and the momma eased up from her side. She stood, shaking at first, but then nature took over and she nuzzled her calf.
After the first drink of colostrum, Richard picked up the calf — all 60 pounds or so — and we walked back to the barn, through the mud, over the bank, through the brambles. I walked beside the momma cow, amazed at her ability and determination to follow her baby and her trust in Richard and I in spite of what she had just been through.
It’s been years since Richard and I farmed. He’s a licensed counselor now and I’m in ministry, but those early years of marriage on the farm taught me many lessons.
Most of them when the sun was creeping up over the horizon. Here’s the most important.
We can never go so far that we cannot be found by our Savior.
We may have run in the other direction, thinking that God would somehow forget us in the crowd. We may have hidden, isolated, or covered up, thinking that our brokenness or pain wasn’t worth noticing.
But what I’ve found in Luke 4:18-20 is that Jesus left everything to look for us.
He not only cares about our brokenness, but He came specifically to find us and make us whole.
You might be hiding your hurt, and sitting on a pew.
You might have tried everything, and finally gave up.
Perhaps you’re successful in a thousand different ways, but you desperately want God to touch and mend the parts of you that no one sees.
You are safe with Jesus.
Whether brokenness or pain is a result of your own actions, or those of another, He’s looking for you and that love carries you to a safe place.
In this week’s Proverbs 31 online Bible study of The Mended Heart, we’re discovering one more way that our faith in Christ heals us.
Many beautiful women are discovering that they are not alone. Will you join us in this study? It’s not too late!
Here’s the first three chapters just for you. Read them online. Print them out. They are yours.
I hope I see you there.
It’s also #livefreeThursday, one of my favorite days of the week because women from all over the nation come together to talk about Jesus, faith, and real life. Come on in and join the conversation. ~ Suzie
Love your lesson from the farm. I think life is a never-ending opportunity to be found. “Where are you” is Gods first recorded question and it’s one I hear him asking in places I still hide. At least now I know it’s safe to come out :). Thanks for #livefreethursday linkup.
I love today’s conversation!
Dear Suzie, Your writing was precious to me this early Thursday am. I grew up on a farm and all you said was so very familiar…..except I didn’t go to the meadow with my daddy to find the cow. But I watched his kindness in the barn to assist calves to be born. Then your spiritual application was precious to me also. I have started a brand-new road in my vocabulary……where I need to use the word cancer. It is not aggressive but it is there. Your thoughts reaffirm that my Father knows all about this. I am safe with Jesus. Thank you, Suzie, for bringing back wonderful memories of the beauty of farm life and the truth of God’s Word.
Cordelia, I’ve walked that road called cancer and here I am 24 years later. I had no idea that one day cancer wouldn’t be a part of my identity. I pray the same for you, sister!
Always love a farming story! Thankful today for the bonds of love that hold us to God in spite of our always wandering hearts. Thank you for your commitment to building community here in this friendly space.
Your post gives me hope for my wayward, prodigal son. Over the years, I continue to pray, believing in Jesus’ promise that He will leave the 99 and go in search of the one who is lost. What a loving and faithful Savior we have. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of His grace and persistence this morning!!
Father, today we pray for this son. He’s not so far that He cannot be found. I pray that he will stop today and realize the vast love of the Savior over his life. Redeem every place inside of his heart that is broken, shattered, or trapped. I believe this and ask this in the name of our amazing Savior.
Praying for all those in search of the safe place! Iburdened this morning for those who are struggling through the mending prospects and asking God to touch and heal the deep hurt of hearts everywhere.
Jodie, today is a hard day for many as we walk into Chapter 6. My prayer is that they feel safe. Carried to safety. Healed in His name.
You make me brave is playing on the radio. Suzie, YOU help make me brave. Gently, you hold my hand, then my heart, to walk with me, straight into the love of Jesus. SAFE. You don’t just “tag up” to home base – you land there with Jesus and take each one of us with you.
Thank you for blessing me and so many others so powerfully. Hugs, Susan
Wow, Suzie – you have such a beautiful gift of breathing new life into biblical truths! I love the story you shared about seeking the mama cow alongside your husband, and bringing her and her baby home to the safety of the barn. I sensed The Lord speak to me about the parable of the lost sheep recently – telling me to never forget that He lovingly pursues His precious children, and that ministering to the one is so important in His eyes. Times when we are discouraged thinking we are not impacting the kingdom, we should remember that God values the impact we make in each person’s life – and never lose sight of the importance of the one.
What a beautiful reminder of how God is caring for us, gently, tenderly, and into the darkest of places.
Suzie, I am loving this study and I’m so encouraged to know “He’s looking for me and His love carries me to a safe place.”
What a beautiful story, so far from my reality! (Farming.) But I love the application. I love knowing I’m safe because He’ll always come looking.
Betsy, believe me. It was far from my reality as well way back then. I learned a lot of things through farming (most of them that I loved my farmer more than farming), but the care that the Shepherd gives us as His own really came through. Talked about you just last night as I spent time with Darrin and Sarah!
Gosh, I love your imagery. I had an awesome experience on a long bike ride where I grew up a few summers ago. I was able to watch a cow give birth in the quiet of the morning. I had never seen that before! and it was amazing. I love your metaphor today….we can never go so far…Happy Thursday!!
Susie, thank you for these beautiful words & imagery. They made Jesus’ love for so close & real for me this morning.
I love that, Pam. <3 Sometimes we see God in the simplest of things. This was one of them.