I don’t know if I will post this, we shall see. It has been a while since I sat down to write anything. And this week, what has been going on has driven me to want to write. Warning, this is a heavier topic.
Many of you know I am a goat breeder. Many of you know how much I love my herd, how I care for them. For almost every single goat in my herd, I was at their birth…I helped bring them into this world, I cleaned them off, I bottle fed them from birth, I was their “mom” and raised them, they trust me.
Some of these I have delivered their kids, and their grandkids (I have been in the goat breeding realm for a while). This might give you a taste, an example of how much I care for them and how emotionally entangled I am with them and their wellbeing (and I am a woman so I naturally nurture lol!). I know ultimately I am their steward and they are God’s animals first, but He put me in charge of their care and their wellbeing.
This week, for reasons unknown I have had to watch one of my does go through the painful process of losing her babies 2 months before they where ready to be born (a little over halfway through the pregnancy). The doe doesn’t 100% know what is going on, she doesn’t think like a human does or know the emotional pain as a human would. But I do, and it hits me like a anvil in the chest.
I know these are just animals and this is a part of farming, but I delivered this doe into this world, I delivered the doe’s mom into this world. Watching my girl lose her kids, even if she doesn’t know what is happening, well it has hit me harder than I thought it would, knowing there is the loss of life. You can tell she doesn’t feel 100%, how could she as her body prematurely loses the pregnancy.
I don’t know why this is happening, I know it does happen in herds…you stay in this farming game long enough it is bound to happen. Maybe she got hit wrong, maybe something was wrong with the babies…maybe…maybe.
I didn’t realize how hard it would hit me in terms of my faith and my walk with God. No I am not angry at God, however I am questioning why….as my heart aches at the loss of life I am asking God why He is allowing this to happen. I have prayed that by some miracle He would spare the little ones but it seems like that isn’t to be a prayer that is answered.
I still sit here tonight…tears in my eyes, hurting knowing this Spring I will only have 6 does having babies instead of 7. I honestly hesitate to post this…to say anything because in the farming realm this happens. It is hard, it is sad but it happens and to be honest Flora (the mom) isn’t a human but an animal. So I can’t compare this to what a human mother would ever go through (and I would never want to compare it).
But oh my tender heart aches! I find myself coming before God asking what I could have done different, could I have somehow stopped or prevented this. Did I miss something, did I go wrong somewhere. And if I didn’t go wrong….why is a seemingly perfectly healthy animal losing her babies. I also hurt that I can’t comfort the doe, not really. I can only watch and wait….make sure she is safe…but ultimately helpless.
It might sound goofy, but I prayed last night that God would send an angel to sit with her through out the night, to bring comfort to her. I could tell she didn’t feel good and I hated not being able to stay with her. As I was praying, I was thinking of when God talks about the sparrows and how He cares for them and watches over them, I thought if He cares that much for the sparrows maybe He would send someone to watch over my girl during the night.
Ultimately life will go on, the doe will be okay (as far as I know), she will go on to have other healthy pregnancies and think probably nothing of this week. Farming will go on, life will go on and I will go on. But this week, this week it weighs heavy on my heart, on my soul and in my thoughts. I don’t have any special spiritual reasoning or thoughts behind why God would allow this to happen in my herd. But…..in a round about way it ties in with some thoughts I have been having about King David in the bible. We are going through 1st and 2nd Samuel and the history of David and how he came to be King of Israel.
God said that David was a man after His own heart….and David was a shepherd…he tended to sheep for the first part of his life. And I think of how Jesus is called the Shepherd and we are his flock. And as I am watching my girl go through this…I am thinking of King David when he was but a shepherd watching his flock, the emotional connection he had to them to some extent…the feeling of being their steward and their provider. I am thinking of Jesus, who is also a shepherd but of people…
To connect all of this…as for how much I love my doe, how I hurt and cry for the loss my doe is going through, who in all honesty doesn’t fully understand (or thankfully emotionally grasp) what she is going through. I think of how much more God loves us, how much more deeply He hurts, how much more deeply He feels a connection to us who are MADE, CREATED in His image. We are not just sheep to him but His adopted sons and daughters. How much more does He weep for us when we go through trials, through pain, through bitter heartache, loss, suffering. How much more does He comfort us, stay near us, watch closely and make sure we are never far from His side.
I love my goat, but she is not made in my image, she is not my adopted daughter but yet I check on her, watch her, keep a close eye and make sure she is comfortable, safe and comforted when need be. So how much more does my God, of whom I am made in the image of, of whom I am called His daughter, of whom I am brought into His fold do the same for me? It has brought a different light to other areas where I have struggled or asked God where He was in the dark times, the hard places, the times where I was losing things, where I was in pain, or when I was just plain not walking with Him. In a weird (or not so weird I guess) way this entire experience with my goat is making me look a little deeper at just how close God truly is to me, how much He truly cares for me, how near to me He truly is on a daily basis.
So, while I don’t know the reason why this is happening with my goat, I do know it has been making me ponder my relationship with God more. It has been making me see where my faith is lacking with Him (won’t go into that….).
To close….I think believers who are farmers have a unique perspective for when the bible talks about us being God’s sheep, Jesus being our shepherd and when King David started as a lowly shepherd but became a King and was a man after God’s heart (yes he made mistakes…but he still was a man after God’s heart). When we care for our own livestock, our own sheep (or in my case goats) it gives us maybe a little deeper look into the heart of God in a different way than others might.