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Winter '20

A lesson learned from a stubborn cow.

About fifty head of Corriente cows were penned early one morning and ready to be loaded. We had been in touch with the driver of the bull wagon who would take these cattle to their new home and everything was right on schedule. He planned to arrive at twelve noon, so we left the pens to take care of other business that day.

As the noon hour approached, we made contact with the driver to make sure he was still on schedule. He explained over the phone that he was having a bit of trouble at his first drop-off location and that he would probably be late. “Not a big deal,” we said as we carried on with our day’s activities.

After another 3 hours the driver called and stated that he should arrive about 4 p.m. to load the Corrientes. It was his next statement that threw us for a loop. “I would have been there sooner guys, but there was one cow that would not get off my trailer. In fact, I had to leave with her still on there.”

What?! How does that happen? I’ve never heard anyone make that statement before! Cattle usually are glad to get off the trailer and will fight to get to the exit first! She must have been sick, or maybe too weak to walk off. Or maybe she was just stupid! Surely there was a good explanation for why this one cow caused our driver to be four hours late.

As the semi pulled up to the pens, we noticed a big, healthy, black Brangus cow in the bottom of the pot trailer. She didn’t look sick. She didn’t look weak. She didn’t look crazy. She looked content! She looked happy! She looked as if she had found herself a new home!

And then I realized, God has given me way more mercy than what I deserve.

As the driver stepped out of his rig, we were eager to hear why this perfectly good looking cow was still on the trailer. His explanation had us baffled. “Well, she just never would get off. We tried and tried. We poked, prodded, hot shotted, pushed, pulled…. We tried it all and she just wouldn’t get off!” His next statement shocked us. “Since she wouldn’t get off, I asked the man who owned the cow how much would it take to buy her. He told me $1200. So I wrote the man a check.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! This cow deserved to be shot! She deserved to have a rope thrown around her neck and drug off the trailer! She certainly didn’t deserve to be bought by the cattle hauler! This man has given this cow way more mercy than what she deserved!

And then I realized, God has given me way more mercy than what I deserve. I began to think about the times when I’ve been stubborn, not going where God wants me to go or doing what He wants me to do. The times when I had been content with just staying where I was instead of letting God take me where I needed to be. I thought about how merciful God was to purchase my life at the cost of His Son, Jesus. I wondered why God would be so merciful to me with all the sin still in me. I realized that God has given me what I don’t deserve. And He continues to give me what I don’t deserve.

Just as the cattle hauler saw that stubborn cow as something worth investing in, God sees us the same. He doesn’t want to hurt us. He wants to help us. He doesn’t care where we’ve been, He cares about where we’re going. In Matthew 9:13, Jesus tells us that He’d rather us be merciful like God than offer sacrifices to God. I wonder how many of us still haven’t figured out that God desires mercy. He’s had mercy on us and He wants us to show mercy.