Lost Calves

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

Calving is a busy time of year. Unless there is a problem, our cows calve in the pasture. We daily rotate them from pasture to pasture, so they are always on fresh grass.

One morning, I moved the cows down from the top where the corrals are and was short some calves. Now, if you’ve moved cows and calves before, you’ll know that often calves hide away, and the cows just leave them. They know where their babies are, but they figure the babies are safely hidden away and probably napping. Many a time I have told a cow she’d better bring her baby. She'd look over at her baby hiding in the grass, look at me, and seem to say, “Nah, he’s napping. Why wake him from a nap?”

And while I can understand that sentiment, having had three babies of my own, I know those babies need to go with momma during a pasture move or they won't be getting supper.

Back to my lost calves.

Most mornings, I have a great time with God and find He gives me something in our time together that I’ll find applies to my day. That morning it was the song, “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord” https://youtu.be/2GqogWdmaio.

I had the herd moved down to the farthest pasture from the top and counted animals. I came up short by two, and upon further inspection, determined it was the two youngest calves. So, I headed back up to the top, thinking about the shepherd leaving the 99 to find the one, but in my case, 2. And rattling around in my mind was the song “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.”

Have you ever gone calf hunting? It is nigh impossible to find them. But I needed to close gates and if those babies didn’t get with their mommas, they'd starve or become coyote food.

Thirty minutes pass by, and I'm praying, "Lord, I need to find those babies. Please let me find them."

Nope, nada. No babies. I push through brush, scratching my arms and pricking my hands. I look behind fallen logs. I look in tall grass. I even look in a deserted trailer that really needs to be pulled out of that pasture.

Not a single calf.

I'm starting to get desperate and start another sweep of the pasture walking back and forth across the pasture while moving from one end to the other, pleading with God to let me find those calves.

I hate to lose a single calf. Yes, there is pride in being able to say, "We didn't lose a single calf this year." And of course there's the business value: a lost calf means lost income. But I also cherish the life of each of these animals. They bring me great joy and they are a precious gift from God, a responsibility He has given me to care for. So, since it seems these two calves can't be found, my anxiety level is increasing.

But still the song, "Blessed Be the Name of the Lord" filters through my mind, until it begins to touch my heart. The song comes from the book of Job.

In Job chapter 1, God allows Satan to take everything away from Job (including Job's children and animals). What was Job's reaction?

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:20-21

As you can see, Job mourned the loss of all his children and all he owned. He rent his mantle, an expression of grief. I find comfort in knowing that grief and mourning loss is not a sin. The Bible says that Job did not sin in this.

What's more, Job recognized that all that he had (including his children) was from God.

After one last pass through the pasture, the song in my head reminds me of this. All that I have is from God. If He chooses to take something from me, His name is still Blessed. He's still my God and my Lord. He's my God and My Lord regardless of whether I have good or evil in my life, because He never changes. He is that He is.

So, I pray, "Lord, if it is Your will that I don't find these calves, then so be it. You are still my God. Blessed by Your name."
You know what happened next? Yup, up pops a calf and runs in the direction of the gate. And I burst out laughing. Isn't that just like God? He had something He wanted to make clear to me. In this case, that I should simply be thankful that He is my God and that all I have is His.

And guess what. The other calf also revealed itself, gave me a bit of a chase, but eventually found his momma.

All was as it should be. Praise be to God.

Newborn calf less than an hour old