Friday - December 23, 2016

Woodlawn Family Bible Study

BIBLE READING:  Jeremiah 29:1-23

Just recently I had the opportunity to purchase a baby calf that had been separated from her mother.  As you well know, a calf receives its nourishment from its mother in the form of milk.  In the case of this calf, she was not able to survive on her own without the proper nourishment she would have received from her mother, so we had to provide her with a supplement.  My children loved the idea of us bottle feeding a baby calf, and saw this as an opportunity to have a new pet. They affectionately named her Mabel Heupel (because don’t all pets take on the last name of their owner). She immediately became part of the Heupel clan. We went to our local co-op and purchased a bottle with the milk replacement.  We then mixed up the bottle with the intention of feeding this calf with a bottle, which was easier said than done.  Although, I have not tasted milk directly from a cow, nor have I tasted the milk replacement product, I can assume from Mabel’s reaction that they are not close to the same thing.  I knew that it could be difficult teaching Mabel to nurse from a bottle instead of her mother, but I never intended it to be that difficult. 

Full disclosure: I have done this before a few times and knew somewhat about what I was doing.  However, that was with new born calves. This calf was about a month old and this was going be a different story.  I fought with Mabel (more like Mabel fought with me) for about 2 hours before she would even begin to nurse on the milk replacement.  Mabel was strong, very strong.  Even as I write this I am still nursing my own wounds from all the kicking and fighting just to get her to eat.  I will have to admit, I did get frustrated!  No matter how hard I tired I could not make Mabel understand that she needed this to survive. There were times I was even tempted to just quit and give up, in fact once I even did for a moment shouting, “Can’t you see I am trying to help you? Can’t you see that without me doing this you have no hope of surviving?  If you don’t drink this bottle, you will die!” I bet the neighbors really thought I had finally lost it as I continued to carry on a conversation with a cow!  

After my rant to Baby Mabel, I wondered if that is the way God might feel with me sometimes.  Over and over again we find ourselves being stubborn like Baby Mabel, when all that God is doing is looking out for our best interest. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  

Aren’t we all stubborn when it comes to doing what God would have us to do?  Don’t we fight tooth and nail to get our way on things instead of seeking and petitioning Him for guidance? In the long run, Baby Mabel came around, but many of us are not so willing. I am thankful that God is patient with me as I slowly come around to understanding or accepting His will over mine own.


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