Earlier this month, as cold weather drug on and the stockpiled pasture and hay supply dwindled, I began to feel more concerned and anxious, maybe even worried and fearful about having enough to feed the cows over the next few weeks. I have many times experienced feelings of failure when it seems like the needs of my herd are not being adequately met. In this situation, I was looking at what we have in the barn and the pastures and looking at the unhelpful chilly and rainy forecast, knowing calving was about to start which can bring its own complexities of nutritional requirements, and I felt the pressure of needing to do something to meet the cows' needs. My joy and peace were depleting, and I suppose you might say I wasn't exercising trust in my heavenly Father's provision.
Last week one day when the weather was forecasted to be cold and rainy, I figured instead of going to bible study group that morning I should probably stay close to home to keep an eye on cows getting close to calving since we had already had a couple. I hated to miss, because I knew how my spirit was always encouraged by being there. Since I stayed home, I made it a point to spend time in the word. I knew that God was what I needed, and He had the solution to all this I was wrestling with.
I felt led to read Psalm 46. And it said so much about what my heart needed right then!
V1. He's my refuge and strength, a help in trouble, or tight places.
V2-3. I won't be afraid no matter what my eyes see in the earth. It struck me that the way I was looking at the weather forecast was not unlike the 10 spies who gave the fearful report in Numbers 13. I want to be like Caleb and Joshua, who viewed the forecast through God's victorious perspective...Caleb saw the giants as bread for them!
V4. Though the heavy rains this month resulted in too much water, there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. That is the river I need flowing through me!
V5. God is in the midst, in the most inward part of her. She won't be moved and He will help her when morning dawns.
V6-9. There is no match for the LORD our God. The earth melts before Him, and wars cease.
V10. Cease striving, or Let go... that's how I'll know He's God...when my hands are off the reins. He WILL be exalted. If I want to see God supernaturally provide, I have to relinquish control!
V11. If the LORD of hosts and the God of Jacob is for us, nothing else can stand against us.
I can't even tell you exactly how it happened, but somehow in the process of acknowledging His absolute goodness, choosing to trust His ability to care for what I surrender to Him, and simply letting go (of control, of worry, even of fear of loss or failure), peace has returned. The forecast actually hasn't changed much. But my expectancy for provision has. The night before I meditated on Psalm 46, the thought came to me that maybe God would keep our small stack of hay from running out until the cows didn't need it anymore this spring. The first four calves were born over a week earlier than expected, in some combination of cold, rainy, and/or windy weather. And all have been healthy and hearty. Just today I felt like He was reminding me once more that He's got this. Pepper had a calf this afternoon. She is a first-time mama. After having to assist in several deliveries last spring, I was hoping this year would be a little less dramatic. Pepper, a smaller heifer, was able to have her calf without any assistance, a very encouraging sign. Doug and I walked back to the pasture this evening to see how the little guy was doing, and although he was trying to nurse, Pepper was not too cooperative and kept moving around and raising her leg when he would attempt to suckle. We probably watched the struggle a good 15-20 minutes, wanting to make sure he latched on. Knowing it is imperative a new baby get the colostrum to gain strength and immunity, not to mention the wind today and the rain tonight would be rough on him if he didn't, I was trying to discern whether I should take them to the barn to help him get latched on, or thaw out some frozen colostrum just to make sure he got his belly full. We decided to go fix supper and see how he was doing after that. I kid you not, literally about 30 seconds after walking away, he was able to grasp ahold of her and she stopped trying to bump him off. Ok, loud and clear, God, loud and clear!
If you feel worried and anxious about anything in your life, may I encourage you to look for the answer by spending time listening to what Jesus the living Word has to say? God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Faith moves heaven, and heaven moves earth. Our God is absolutely good, and He will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus!