Running along an open field, I spied a cow (actually she spied me). She looked up at me, startled, as if I were an anomaly on this road. Maybe I was. All clad in black running gear, the sun behind me chased my shadow. I smiled at the mama cow; she chewed her cud in a happy sort of way.
A few feet later, a passel of calves looked up. A small flock of blackish birds twirled around one calf, nearly crowning her with wings.
She leapt. And leapt again. If she were a colt, I’d say she bucked. In that moment, God reminded me that He had penned words about skipping calves.
I ran home, happy to have made myself run again. I found these words:
“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.” Malachi 4:2
Of all the talk these days (from the Lord to me and from His servants to me) about rest, this verse cemented it all. I feel like I’ve been in a stall the past several years, in a holy holding pattern that consisted of hay, straw, grain, and longing.
I’ve seen the pasture. I’ve longed for it. But the stall has kept me bound.
I’m thankful for the stall. There I’ve learned humility and dependence upon the One who provides the grain. I’ve learned to trust. I’ve learned the fine art of grieving. Even so, I realize there are seasons in this life. Wildernesses, even. Could it be that God is opening the latch to the stall door and pushing me out into the great unknown? (click to tweet) Beyond the wilderness?
I am a calf, sometimes barn sour, wanting to grovel in the muck of my own safe world (click to tweet), but God beckons me beyond to green pastures, frolicking birds, nurturing mothers. He wants me to find safe pasture, to learn the art of resting beside quiet waters (click to tweet), to not be so self-conscious that I can’t dare to skip in the daylight.
All that from a calf skipping.
Oh dear, dear, dear Jesus. Help me to skip today, to revel in rest and freedom and joy and newness of life. Release me. Help me to be willing to be released. Free me indeed. Set a garland of birds above my head like a crown of dancing praise. I want to be free from the grief that’s haunted me for far too long.