Saturday, May 21, 2016

Don't Lose Heart

Analogies of life are everywhere, popping up inconspicuously in the norm of everyday doings. But if we're watchful, we catch that encouragement of God’s ‘still small voice’ as he helps us along our trail. Here's an inspiring one that revealed itself as we helped a friend work her family's cattle in the hills of California:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.—Galatians 6:9

Bruce rode down to the flat, and I rode up into the hills. Branding and vaccinating were the order of the day as we worked with other volunteers to help gather cattle for a friend. Sometimes we rode fast and hard to head off mavericks that didn’t have a hankerin’ to get corralled, but eventually we got them herded in the right direction.  

As Bruce and I calmly drove all the cows, calves and the bull into the holding pen, the others worked the gates and stood ready by the chute.  Riding nice and slow, we then helped our friend sort the cows, moving them one by one into the alleyway that led toward the chute.  

But an ole bossy-cow had other ideas.  One minute we thought we had her convinced, next minute she’d wheel around and plow through us like a freight train and scatter the other cows. She knew no fear, nor mercy. But we regrouped and tried again.

With a fair amount of patience, we finally got her moving toward the alleyway—and we smelled victory. Suddenly the air exploded with shouts and mayhem—the gate-guy left his post to play “cowboy.”  Wild arms waved through the air as shouts of, “Hey, Hey, Hey!” and “Aaaaaah!” (along with a various sundry of other animated communication) ripped through the air like fireworks. Instantly, a sea of swirling cows surrounded us.

With jaws dropped, we watched all our work circle the drain. Our friend (the boss) quickly stepped in and quenched the fireworks, sending Gate-guy with tucked tail back to his post.

We had to start all over with that cow, along with quieting the herd. To say we were a bit annoyed would be putting it mildly. We took a deep breath, however, and swung our horses around, determined not to give up and lose sight of our goal.

It took some time, but every cow was finally vaccinated and branded, and we cut them loose into their world of pastures and freedom, in health and security. 

As I relaxed on my horse, watching happy cows, I grinned at the analogy that played out that day.  We live in dangerous and discouraging times, no question.  Distractions in every way shape and form are lurking everywhere ready to ambush our peace and purpose. 

But no matter what, we must never lose our focus of what Jesus has called us to do, and the grace that He gives. There are those in desperate need of the care and security only He can bring.  And He has commissioned us, His people, to help bring them home to Him.

(Luke 4:18-19—“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”)

(Copyright 2016 All Rights Reserved.) 

*Exciting announcement!* Walk Like a Warrior: Inspirational True Stories of God's Encouragement on the Trail Less-Traveled is now available in print and Kindle editions through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the WestBow Press bookstore.