“Cows kill more people than sharks”
That statistic rang in my mind as I plopped out of the truck and felt my muck boots sink into the mud. Jake and I were newly married and I had so far been gung-ho as I navigated through this new world of farm life. It was a struggle to adjust to many of the aspects since I didn’t grow up on a farm, but I was enthusiastic and willing to learn.
I saw my first opportunity to prove myself (not that I needed to, but, hey there pride) when Jake came down with the flu six years ago. He was the sickest I had ever seen him, and I watched as he tried to get out of bed to get dressed to feed cattle. He was weak and burning up with fever, and I knew that I had a chance to help. I wanted to show him how hard I was trying to learn and be involved with the farm, despite coming into the marriage knowing next to nothing about this life.
I told Jake to stay in bed and I would feed the cows for him. I had gone with him everyday and was pretty darn good at opening gates, so I was basically a professional at this point. I even knew how many cows were in what pasture, what type of hay went to what group, and how many pounds of range cubes to put out. Jake put up a fight but finally agreed to let me go feed by myself, although I’m not sure if it was because he trusted me or he was just that delirious from his fever.
I hopped in his truck and headed towards the pasture when about a mile down the road a knot started to form in the pit of my stomach. The doubts started creeping into my mind telling me that I wasn’t capable enough to do this on my own. I started into a downward spiral, wondering if I was cutout for this life at all. I mean, who wants a job where they can’t even call in sick when they have the flu?
I got to the pasture with the hay on the truck, and as I pulled through the gate I was welcomed by a herd of momma cows ready for their breakfast. I flung opened the door and hopped out of the truck, feeling my muck boots sink down into the mud. I was instantly paralyzed with fear. My mind started racing and my hands were shaking as I tried to think of a way to get myself out of the very task I insisted on doing. I was face to face with fifty momma cows who were wondering why I was standing there staring at them instead of unrolling their hay. To get to the back of the truck to cut the net wrap off the bale, I needed to push through the cows who were now loudly expressing their hunger with moos; but I couldn’t. I knew our cows were pretty docile, but I had heard plenty of stories of people being attacked by their cows and that fear was ringing loudly in my ears.
I stood there, protected by the pickup door, and I prayed. That might seem like a silly thing to pray about, but God saw me there, and he cared about me even in that moment when I couldn’t get out of my own head. So I prayed that God would just give me enough courage that I could get this job done, and he did. I walked to the back of the truck, cut the net wrap off, set the bale down, and walked back to the truck. I did it. I fed the cows and survived. I might have been shaking the whole time, but I did it.
I know that story might seem dramatic for the task it was, but we all have things that we get in our own head about and play up. God cares about us even in the moments when we aren’t thinking clearly. The feelings we have our real, and he cares about those. Those are opportunities to trust him, and let him show up for us. Courage doesn’t mean not being afraid, it just means pushing through anyway. He knew that if I had given up, that meant Jake would’ve had to go do it, and he was in no shape to do that.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
< In every situation >
I know that some people say they only pray about big, important things like world peace or hunger, and while I think their hearts are in the right place, that just isn’t biblically accurate. God wants us to bring every worry, every hope, every dream, every fear, every praise, every joy, and every sorrow to Him. It grows our relationship with him and strengthens our trust and faith. Friend, don’t think that God doesn’t hear you because you don’t think whatever your prayer may be isn’t important enough. He hears you, and He cares about what you’re going through. Give it ALL to Him!