Have you ever wondered how us as humans can relate to cows? No? Just me? Well, hang in there a second and get ready to never look at cows the same.
It's pretty easy to wonder if we can be led anywhere. And on top of that, if we can be led anywhere "important" or "purposeful". And then, if you're like me, wonder if we won't just mess it all up, hear the wrong thing, hear nothing at all, do the wrong thing, say the wrong thing...
However, today while I was reading 1 Samuel Chapter 6, I was reminded of something. Of the power that we lack to lead and how God intercedes and intervenes in that to allow us to experience greatness and to lead ourselves and others to greatness through him.
1 Samuel Chapter 6 CRASH COURSE:
If you need some context, go read 1 Samuel... for mini crash course, here's what's been going on. The ark of God (a Holy and sacred object that represented the presence of God) has been taken from Isrealites. A big no no on the Philistines part. So, they stole it, they got plagued in a similar way that the Egyptians did in the past. They freak out when they look in the mirror and have tumors and then have rats running around wreaking havoc... and to think I've gotten all worked up about about a bad hair day.
They talk to their leaders and ask what the heckkkkk are we supposed to do? We need to give this back. It has some bad juju. So, their leaders suggest bringing it back with a new cart and two cows and also models of their tumors and golden rats for good measure as a guilt offering. Because that's what everyone thinks of when they decide on a giving a peace offering. Here, have some tumors and golden rats, we good now?
The reasoning behind this, while, questionable and actually quite predictable in normal circumstances, gave God a chance to do the impossible. According to the Philistine gods and leaders, if the cows did go to this next place called Beth Shemesh, that means God really was pretty unhappy with them. Like when your mom asks you to take the frozen chicken out of the freezer before she gets home and you forget kind of unhappy. If the cows stayed (like normal non-yoked, mother of calves would because of natural tendencies) then it was all just chance and they just got tumors and rat infested for no reason. 🤨
They were so clever. I can't really make fun of them though because I KNOW there have been times where I thought of foolish ways to get what I want so while I'm tempted to call them out, I can't say I haven't been there before.
ANYWAY, the cows.
"Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up."
(1 Samuel 6:7, suggestion from the god/leaders of the Philistines)
What's important here to note is that the cows have never been yoked... in 2021 terms, they have never been trained to steer a cart. Therefore, they have NO idea how to pull a cart, where to go, they really can't be steered AND on top of that, these people took their cute little calves and put them in a stall. Okay, so while we're not a fan of seperating baby cows from their mothers, the key point is that the cows' first instict should have been to go back to their calves, right?
BUT, good thing God doesn't always have cows (or us) follow the norm. Whether we feel equipped or not. So, these cows, having every single excuse and reason to not go straight and simply just go back to their babies, went right on forward where God lead them to the next place with the Ark of God. Which was one place closer to where it was supposed to be.
They didn't know which steps to take or which direction to go but God led them. Their natural instinct, the normal action to be taken, simply wasn't taken. God used these cows for a purpose and lead them even though many would say they were not ready, prepared, equipped... these cows did not have "steering carts" on their resume and yet God used them to do exactly that.
While we don't jump to compare ourselves to cows on a daily basis (maybe we should?) the message is all the same. God can use you. He can do the impossible. He can involve you in his plans and in his purpose. The crazy thing? He doesn't need you to be a part of it. He's perfectly capable of doing it on his own. But he WANTS you.
Do you think he needed those cows? He could have just as easily left them with their claves and sent something or someone else for there Ark. Or, breathed life into the Ark and given it wings to fly back to where it was meant to be. While he is able to do it on his own (and let's be honest, it would be a lot easier that way) he chooses to involve us. To lead us and to allow us a part in this thing we call life.
If you're here today wondering where the heck you're going and worried that you are not being led or that you're not capable of it, go back to the verse above and remind yourself of God's goodness and the many ways that he has invited you to be apart of this life he wants to share with you.
They don't have to be big, grand moments like steering an Ark. Maybe it's waking up and taking time to be with him instead of on your phone or reading emails. Or showing up for someone that has been on your heart and mind. Maybe you're afraid you're not ready or that you're not sure what to look or listen for. We have all been there or even are there right now. Nobody is more or less likely to be used by God than anyone else. All you have to do is show up.
Those cows? They were just minding their own business, being mothers and doing their thing and God decided to use them. If he used a couple of animals, who's to say what he might use you for?? Don't discount yourself or God, you were made to be apart of this wonderful life!