Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Reaching Through My Fence

The other day on my way home from work, I noticed a herd of cows in a pasture I travel past all the time. I am so used to passing by this pasture, that I usually don't pay much attention to the cows, but the other day I did. And since then I have been thinking about cows. I grew up around cows. We always had some on the farm, and I have even raised some myself in my adult life. I love to watch them out in the pasture. There have been times that I just stood at the fence and watched them graze. I can't help but feel relaxed because they graze and move so slowly, taking their time, even slow to lift their head and look up if they hear a sound. They rarely rush and appear to never have a worry. I guess I could learn a thing or two from a cow.

One thing I have often seen and found interesting for a cow to do is to stick its head through the fence and reach out as far as it can with its neck to get a bite of tender grass. Though we have gone through a lot of effort and expense to put up a sturdy fence with strong posts and barbed wire, the lure of that tasty grass seems to be just too much for a cow to resist. I have seen them lean against the posts and push through the wire, even until the barbs are sticking into their skin, just to reach a few blades of tender grass. They will stretch out their lips and even stick out their tongue trying to get those few blades that escape them. I have thought to myself, that grass must be mighty good, or at least I hope it is for their sake.

I think the Lord drew my attention to those cows so that He could deposit a thought in my mind. And in thinking about cows, I realize there have been times where I too was leaning against the posts and pushing through the wire. I know that God loves me enough to put up boundaries for me, my own fence that keeps me from going too far; not to deprive me but to save me. I know that without my fence, I would be like those cows and roam wherever my eyes and appetite may lead me. So He blessed me with a fence. But also like those cows, some times I try to test my limits; I try to reach through the wire for blades of grass that I am convinced are better than what I already have. And I know it's not necessarily all bad stuff; sometimes they are good things, just not things that are meant for me, or maybe not meant for me right now. But yet and still I sometimes lean against the posts and push through the wire.

I know the spiritual scratches on my neck and nose bear the signs of my disobedience and impatience. Forgive me for times I've gone too far. I want to live for the Lord within the boundaries of what He has intended for me. So I ask God to bless me with contentment for the grass I can already reach so I can honor Him with the life I live inside my fence.

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