Encouraging Life lessons from Pushing Cows

When I was small, we lived in eastern Oregon on a large ranch.  Couple times a year we had a round up. In the spring after all the calfs were born, we did a "drive".  This was done by rounding up all the cows and calfs, then a group of people on horse back would get behind them and push them for about 1 week to summer grazing pastures up in the hills.  In the fall we went back to the hills and rounded up the cows and brought them home for winter.  Where we had stored up hay and grain to feed them.

It is a slow process.  I wore out a pair of cowboy boots on one drive.  A lot of time the calves would be tired and slow.  We would get leg cramps and get off the horses and walk slowly prodding the little ones along.  Sometimes we would get one so tired and young we would lift it up and lay it across the saddle and carry him.

Day after day, directing, pushing them on.  Stopping to night to rest, then on again in the morning.  We would show the cows where water was, and good eating grounds.  We protected them from preditors.

The two pictures below are actual photos from our drive back in about 1963.  That is me on the white horse.  There is a awesome spiritual lesson in this story of pushing the cows.

 The lesson is that Christ does the same with us.  He gathers us up and keeps prodding us along to greener pastures.  He leads the way, He protects us on our journey.  He finds us water to drink and food to eat.  When we are too weak He never rushes us to go faster than we can.  Sometimes He even picks us up and carries us along until we can walk again.

After all these years of walking with Christ, I can tell you that never has He yelled at me, or lost His temper with me.  Always, His voice is gentle and full of love and forgiveness.  He never leaves us alone.  He is steady and sure.  Leading us to the promises.  His path is for our good, providing a hope and a purpose in our lives.  The way is rocky and rough many times.  But through it all, He is there.

Never give up, never quit hoping.  Leave the past and keep your eyes on Jesus Christ.  My life on the ranch taught me many things that have helped me to know God even better.  That way of life is no more.  The cows are not taken to the high country for lush grass.  We put them in "stock pens" with no room, and feed them stuff no cow should have to eat.  All to get them fat for us to eat.  I am glad that organic farmers are still out there and they let their cows feed the grass God made for them to eat.

We must feed our children and those after us the spiritual food of the life of following our God who loves us.  Not the food of the world, or the thoughts of man.  We never fail unless we give up and quit.

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