The solid black calf with a white face is the cutest thing as my mother and I watch it daily frolicking about. His happiness shows with his running circles around his mother or racing ahead as the herd goes marching on. This was not the case last week.
Last week this calf first entered the world. We kept our eyes on the proceedings the day he was born. Only hours old he was laying in the grass with head lifted taking in his new surroundings. The mother had walked away. I’ve come to realize this is not abnormal after initial birth. Perhaps mama cow is tired and needs some alone time.
At any rate, as the sun began to set, mama came to check on her little one. She licks him. Feeling encouraged, the calf stands on shaky legs. The mother finishes its bathing of her baby and walks away. At about thirty feet she looks back. Baby calf is standing, looking, not moving. The mother doesn’t move either. Fifteen minutes, which seems like an hour to my anxious heart, willing the calf to go to its mother, the calf takes tentative steps. The mother keeps looking, waiting. Finally, the little one takes one step and then another until he is next to his mother. The baby gets another mother’s lick and discovers milk! Relieved the calf has found its way to his mama, we let down the shades to shut out the approaching darkness of night.
Early the next morning the calf is already trotting around with all appearance of great happiness. I found it interesting how like a cow you and I can be. Our Heavenly Father washes us clean as we enter spiritual birth. Joy floods us. We have been forgiven of everything! The slate is clean, but like the calf, we have much to learn.
We know our Father’s presence is with us, but at times He seems so far away. Why doesn’t He come to us? Like the mama cow from afar, why does He do nothing more than wait for us to come to Him? When we do, He fills us with that sweet sense of his love for us, but why not come to us in the first place?
The calf learns many important things in the act of coming to his mother. He is assured she is there waiting. He grows stronger himself with every step he takes. Never forget that faith grows one step at a time. The first steps are shaky, uncertain; nonetheless, each foot forward takes him to mama where his needs are met and where he may drink from his mother’s goodness.
It is no different for you and me when we take steps toward our Father. Our faith grows as we are reminded anew that, “He will never leave us or forsake us,” (Hebrews 13:5), that He will forgive our delay and wash us in loving forgiveness, not some of the time but all of the time, and He will lead us to fresh pastures running with living waters where we may eat and drink, gaining strength to face whatever each new day brings us. (Psalm 23)
Then, like the happy calf who has learned where to go for his needs, we frolic and run free in our Father’s care for us.