The phrase is taken from the movie “Twister” when they were caught in a tornado and cows came spinning by, and we still pinch ourselves as an almost equally incredulous expression. We have cows. Why, we’re asked? You don’t even have a farm, what’s the logic in that? Answer, because God says. Whenever I see or hear a preacher talking about logic, it’s only logical, it only makes sense, in regard to God and His workings I always wonder what Bible he is reading.
So, for those wondering where I’ve been, it’s the cows. I drive 2 1/2 hours one way to take care of them on a rented pasture. Again, that doesn’t make sense. What’s going on here? We ask that, ourselves, every time we run into a wall or a turn or a reversal. Is it logical? Well, God’s ways are not man’s ways, it’s biblical, and anyone who tries to box God into man’s logic is a liar.
To bring you up to speed, almost a year and a half ago, God indicated to Sue that we would be moving…….to a farm…..we’re not farmers nor did we ever plan to be. He led us to a picturesque farm that we fell in love with along with expectations that we would be moving right in, this was God’s work. We started studying cattle, crops, sheep, goats, chickens trying to learn as much as we can so we wouldn’t be total rubes when we got there. Then He closed the door. WHAT! HEY! WHY? (see When Open Doors Seem Closed).
When God calls you go. It’s straightforward. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed God delivers. God called Abraham, God called Moses to take Israel to the promised land. God called us to leave our life of semi-retired ease to go to a farm and raise cattle. So where’s the farm? Simply obey God and go from point “A” to point “B” is that so hard? So here’s a quick map of how we got here. Oops, still no farm.
But wait, Abraham and Lot did a lot of walking and Abraham’s children went into 400 years of captivity. Moses and the Israelites wandered the desert for 40 years. We’ve been waiting on God for a whole year and a half. And now we have cows. If we would have had our way, we’d have a farm, no cattle and no idea what we were doing, but God had a better way.
So we thought we heard God, found the farm and pursued it. A year later we now know that while it was a beautiful location it wasn’t workable for what God had in store. So we waited. During the winter we got antsy and started looking again. Do you know how lovely farms are in the winter? Well maybe if you’re a cross-country skier. But we did find an 80 acre farm we could “live with” but kept looking, as we were advised that an offer like what we would offer was considered insulting to the sellers a little while back. As we kept looking the acreage got bigger, the dreams got loftier and the prices got out of this world (a 1000 acre farm for 5 million “God wants us to move the kids with us”).
But in reality we did begin some, now, semi-educated planning. Were going to buy 10 bred cows to start the herd though we still didn’t know what we were going to do outside of what we’d read in books. We were directed to a 95 acre farm in a specific location that was being sold for $750,000 but the woman was in bankruptcy and we were advised that maybe we could get it for $400,000. So we made an offer at $418,000 and it sat and sat.
In the meantime we needed a bull from a different herd for the cows we were buying. Now, mind you, it takes two years for a herd to mature to sale-able beef so one question we couldn’t answer, for ourselves or the lenders, was what do we do for two years?
So, in this location, we found a breeder and asked if he had a bull available. He didn’t. But he did share that since his boys were at an age where they could get out hiking with him and such he was considering selling the entire herd. So we negotiated a price and now, we have cows. But no farm. Our kids are just shaking their heads about the proverbial putting the cart before the horse scenario. Since the former herd owner,now has pasture and no herd and we have a herd and no pasture we worked out a deal to rent the pasture. So, now the herd stays in a familiar pasture while they are calving. And he added, if you need any help, we’re here if you can’t make it in, and ask as many questions as you like, ” I love talking beef”. So, now we have a herd, a pasture, a mentor but still no farm.
So back to that little 80 acre farm, “we could live with”, that I had been calling our plan “B”, that we now found was still available. Okay, you’re going to love this. God is never late, but then He is never early. How many times has that left us all frustrated? How many times have we listened to God and then said, well let’s get this done? It never happens before it’s time. We asked our buying agent to set up another showing there which he did, but then He found out that we’d been there with an associate realtor so we had to call him. He deferred because he was busy that day and both the agents agreed to share the commission. We went, discussed and made an offer, only to find then that after we turned ours in another came in. The previous agent’s busyness was that he also had a showing, there, on the property with a different client. Wow! Oh, and one little note, the listing on the property actually expired the day before we went for the final showing. So, given the two offers, the seller, then, counter offered and we had to quickly counter-counter offer which got accepted. Ain’t God great??????
As part of the counter offer we had to provide a letter of pre-approval for financing, so a lender we were working with did write one for us while letting us know that it was still conditional of us selling our home first before lending us money to buy the farm. Homeless? God says in his Word that He would not leave His righteous forsaken or homeless. What’s up God? Are you really gonna dump that cash in our laps now, finally? At this point, then, we left the big banks who presumably have money (maybe so because they won’t give it out) and paid a visit to the local community bank where we’d open up a checking account anyway. And what do we get, a bank with a solution, a “bridge loan”. A short-term higher interest loan (than a mortgage) to “bridge” the gap between buying the farm and selling our property. We’ll know more by the end of the week. Stay tuned…(update: we were approved for the bridge loan)
So what does this all mean? God called us, and while we expected a flash of light, a roll of thunder and SHAZAM there we are, God had a better way. Instead of being plopped on a farm, we now have a cattle herd, we now are part of a, if you will, mini Ag college where we’re learning the ropes of setting a farm up, cattle and pasture management, running fences and water, buying mineral supplements, calving all in one package. NOW, we’ll be ready to take on the farm and take off running. God led the Israelites for 40 years in the desert, in part punishment for faithlessness, but also,in part, for the next generation to learn His faithfulness and provision. God, in His faithfulness and love, did not plop us somewhere and leave us to our own devices. He put us up, in His care, teaching us the way we should go while developing our dependence on His grace and provision. His grace and provision far out distances anything we can do on our own merit, and our own devices will almost always be wrong, because we are imperfect.
Are you wondering where God is in your life, why He isn’t doing what you think He should be? He is faithful and being connected is the first place you need. Do you even know Him? That is the ultimate starting place. Look over God’s requirements and find you are lacking and then do what needs to be done to fix it. Look to Jesus, God’s gift to you, and set off on an adventure that the world can never give you. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.