Our Amazing God or A Lesson from Cows

I suppose we all have our favorite Bible stories.  I seem to gravitate to the ones where God shows His might in everyday occurrences. For example:

Milk cows.  It’s probably because I grew up on a farm that this story strikes a chord in my heart.  It drums up memories of my father, taking the calves away from their mothers for the first time.  He would put the calves out to pasture and leave their mothers in the barn.  What a racket!  Those cows would bawl all day for their babies.

So, here’s the story:  Israel is at war with the Philistines.  There is no king yet.  Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phineas, are the priests at the time. Eli’s sons are wicked men, and it is into this situation that Hannah places her son, Samuel!  (That’s another story. Talk about trusting God!)

During the battle, the Philistines start to win, so the Israelites get the Ark of the Covenant–which they treat as a lucky charm–and bring it to the battle field.  They’re so excited that their shouting drives fear into the hearts of the Philistines.  They see the Ark and know that God is in the battle.  (Sadly, the Israelites forgot that God was with them without bringing the Ark to the battle.)  When the Philistines realize what it is, they fight with all their might, kill 30,000 Israelites, and take the Ark.

However, when they set up the Ark before their god Dagon, ( I love this part!) the next morning, he’s on the ground without his head and hands! God then strikes the Philistines with a plague: tumors and rats! (Some translate it as the Bubonic plague.)

So… they are told by their priests and wizards to put the Ark on a cart, take two milk cows that have never pulled a cart before,  yoke them to the cart, leave their calves in the barn,  and then send them in the opposite direction towards Israel.

They knew that if those cows took off for Israel, all their troubles were not just a chance happening but directed by the hand of God!  Those poor mammas took off mooing all the way and never looked back.  THAT was the hand of God!

Is there a lesson for us in this story?  Probably several, but the one that I love the most is this: Wow!  That’s MY God!!!  He is so powerful, and yet He works in ways that I can see, reassuring me that He is with me and caring for me.  It might not be as miraculous as the account above, but I’ll take it anyway!

For example: I am subbing today for a dear lady that really loves her job and is an awesome teacher!  The last time I subbed for her, the schedule went like this (she teaches elementary music):

8:20 – announcements
8:30 – 6th grade
9:00 – plan
9:30 – 5th grade
10:00 – 5th grade
10:30 – 4th grade
11:00 – 2nd grade
11:30 – lunch
12:00 – 6th grade
12:50 – 1st grade
1:20 – 3rd grade
2:20 – chorus
2:50 – die!

Now she knows all the songs and the kids, and she does it all the time, and she’s younger than I am.  I still don’t see how she does it EVERY day! But for me, I came home and died!

BUT, today, 1st, 4th, and Kindergarten are on field trips!  Jehovah-Jireh!!!  That gives me four open slots, and I’m praising God, BECAUSE, He know my schedule for the next four days and He knew that I needed those couple of breaks in the day!

Yesterday, as I studied for the Sunday school lesson on Rebekah, the commentator made the point that before Rebekah ever met Abraham’s servant, he was already on his way to meet her.  Before I even thought about this day, He had it planned and knew exactly what I needed!  We serve a GREAT God!  Why don’t you take a moment to praise Him, and then go and talk to someone about Our Amazing God!

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Tily Tries My Patience

So, today I decide to till the garden instead of exercising.  Running Tilly is definitely exercise!  She must not have slept well, because she is sputtering all over the place!  She’s lost her spunk!  I baby her along, hoping that she’ll kick into high gear – no chance!  I think she’s upset because I was checking out tillers on the web!  Who would pay over $700 for tiller?  I can buy a lot of vegetables for that amount, even from the farmer’s market!  It’s supposed to rain today and the Ladies’ Missionary Group is coming in an hour and a half, but Tilly has more lessons for me.

  1. Maybe it’s time for her to retire.  Dear older-worker-bee, do you need to step down and let the younger ones take over?  Sometimes we complain that they are not doing the work, but maybe it’s because we don’t trust them to do the job.
  2. Dear younger-worker-be- possibility, do you need to step up to the plate?  You may say, “But what can I do?”  Can you scrub a toilet?  My husband and I joke about the fact that that is where we started serving the Lord – it’s true!  You would probably be surprised at what you could do.  I’ve never met a pastor yet that refused help!  J
  3. Both sides of the fence require a lot of grace!

I think Tilly knows that I was just thinking about checking out Craig’s List – that’s when her belt fell off. My father was a farmer and a machinist – he could fix anything!  So, in the spirit of my heritage, I took a closer look.  Hm, there was a part of the machinery that was hanging at an odd angle, and at a closer look, I saw that a nut was missing!  How would I ever find a nut in a newly tilled garden?  I couldn’t, so I went to the garage.  Now, growing up on a farm, I appreciated my father’s work bench that had every size nut, bolt, nail, and screw that you could imagine!  But, alas, no nut here of the right size.  I prayed as I headed out to the garden.  “Lord, I need a miracle.  You know where that nut is.  I will NEVER find it without your help, and with out the nut (I mean the one belonging to the bolt!), Tilly is done for the day!”  What a gracious God we serve!  After another look around the garden, and when I was ready to call it quits – there was the bolt!  Jehovah-gireh!!

  1. How much do you trust God?  How hard are you leaning on the Everlasting Arms?  We often want to lean and ask only for the select items on our list: the ones that we understand.  Can you ask for His help in the areas you don’t understand; and are you ready to accept the answer He gives?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  Isaiah 55: 8,9

  1. PATIENCE!  This is the hardest lesson we (or maybe just I) will ever face!  I was ready to junk the whole thing.  Forget gardening!  Shove Tilly over a cliff and call it a day. God’s ways are SO much higher than ours; but as Paul Harvey used to say, “Now for the rest of the story…”  Maybe tomorrow!