Protection From the Barbs of Life


Most every farmer that I know with cattle is preparing for pasture season by mending their fences. That is how I spent one of my weekend days. We had a whole section of fence that my brother had ripped out a couple of weeks prior because it was old, dilapidated and more of an invitation to the cows to cross than a deterrent.

We had a great system with three of us working on it. Larry stretched the bottom row of barbed wire. Then Keri, my someday sister-in-law, and I spaced the posts while Larry used the skid steer to push them into the ground. While he stretched the other four wires, we attached the wire to the posts with metal clips. It was a process, but hopefully now our animals will not raid the soybeans.

The fence is just as much a protection for the cows as it is a barrier. It protects them from being somewhere they shouldn’t be for their health. It also protects them from my empty threats involving making them roast beef as I’m herding them back into the pasture. (It’s happened before!)

My work gloves are a protection too. When working with barbed wire it is necessary to have a good glove. However, because I was having trouble maneuvering the metal clamps, the wire pliers with the bulkiness of the material, I took off the glove. But after the barbs tore into my finger tips a couple of times, I realized the purpose of the gloves and put them back on.

I began to think about how God protects me in so many areas of my life. A couple weeks ago I wrote about some seemingly huge disappointments. In my perspective, it was overwhelming how many things were not working in my favor, but then I had the opportunity to step back and observe what was happening around me. Things that frustrated me, but were outside of my control.

What I have come to understand is maybe that job was not for me. Maybe that house is not what I really needed at this time. Maybe God has something better for me. I don’t know if that is true, but I do believe that “God’s “no” is not rejection, but redirection.” (Unknown)

“God protected you from that relationship. So stop being mad and bitter that things didn’t work out. While you’re concerned about how you feel, God is much more concerned about your purpose and quite frankly that person wasn’t included in it.” (InstaGodMinistries)

Perhaps my frustration lies within the fact that I struggle with understanding my purpose. I know that I am not alone in this effort in finding my place in this world.

My conversations with God often sound like a lot like this. “God, I’m not trying to be difficult, but my purpose can’t be to deal with sometimes difficult people in the Diversion program and to write grants.” I know that the work that I do is needed and appreciated, but that can’t be what I’ve been made for!”

“Have I really been made for feeding cows and putting up hay? Yes, I enjoy this work and it has a purpose, but how can this be my purpose?”

But again, what I do know is that “Where God guides, He provides.” (Isaiah 58:11)

Patience is not one of my virtues, but I will continue to wait while I know that God is protecting me from the barbs in my life.

“When you’re tempted to lose patience with someone, think about how patient God has been with you.” (Unknown)

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