Spring is a second Christmas on our ranch…
At least to me:D
For in spring – after 11 – 12 months of waiting – I impatiently look forward to the coming of new foals. Each morning I look out my windows at the rotund mares, eager to see if there are any new additions that arrived during the night. As I head out on a walk for a closer inspection, my thoughts often wander for I am curious as to what each foal’s personality will be like…and what the color of their coats will be…will they have stars or blazes on their faces…
When I enter the pasture and call out to the mares, I am greeted with nickers and whinnies from the mares as they walk up to me. As I rub and pet the mares, sometimes an impatient kick greets my hand:D I wonder if those foals are as eager to meet me as I am to be introduced to them!
I remember one year in particular, in which the events that took place left my mind reeling, horrified, sorrowful, and, in the end, very thankful.
One of my favorite mares, named Angel, had just foaled. She was a first time mother, and the birth of her bay colt had seemingly gone by without any complications. The foal was healthy, but was little confused.
For he thought that he had two mothers.
He was quite content to run back and forth between the two, nursing from both. His mother was not at all concerned by this, which to me seemed unusual. In most cases, mares are aggressively protective of their foals. They don’t “share” them easily. The fact that both mares – the real mother and secondary mare – were doing so was an anomaly to me.
Finally, I decided to separate the mares. The secondary mare had not yet had her baby, and I was getting concerned that when she did, she might reject her real foal or that the new baby wouldn’t have enough milk to eat…thanks to his adopted big brother.
Little did I know that what I perceived to be a problem was actually an answer to an unknown, dark valley that was waiting for me just around the corner.
One night, shortly after I had separated the two mares, I went out into the pasture to check on Angel and her foal, who by this time we had named Mustang. Behind the barn, a sight met my eyes that I still cannot erase. I am thankful that it was a dark night, so that I could not see the gruesome details in full color.
For on the ground before me lay Angel…in great distress. Her insides were strewn on the ground behind her…
My mind went blank. I didn’t know what to do. I had seen prolapses before in our cows, but never to this great of a degree.
That was a long night, and it ended badly. Angel did not make it. We lost a favorite horse and Mustang was without a mother.
I was in a quandary for I had not had a lot of success raising orphan foals before, and I did not want to lose this gelding. His best chance for survival would be for a nurse mare to raise him.
Unsure of what else to do, I brought back in the second mare, hoping that she would accept him.
And you know what?
She gladly took Mustang and he accepted her as his mother. As well, that mare never did foal that year, yet she had enough milk to raise Mustang as her own.
That night I saw and experienced my Father’s care…
In an unexpected way.
What I had perceived to be a problem that I needed to solve, turned out to be the provision of God to ensure that Mustang would live after Angel died and left Mustang motherless.
He provided two mothers for Mustang because that is what he needed.
I cannot look back on these events without thinking of the verses found in Matthew 10:29 – 31…only instead of sparrows, I think of Mustang and his mother, Angel.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Psalm 104 describes God’s providential care for His creation. He makes springs to pour water into the ravines of mountains so that wild animals can quench their thirst. He makes grass grow for cattle and makes the earth bring forth food for people. He makes trees to grow so that birds have a place to nest.
God is actively involved in the life and lives of His creation, because He cares.
And if He provides for the birds, the wild animals, the cattle and even for a young colt who lost his mother, will He not care for me?
The answer is yes. 1. Peter 5:7 tells me to cast or throw my anxieties, my problems, my troubles onto Him…
Because He cares for me.
And if He cares for me, will He not provide what I need when I need it…at just the right time, in just the right way?
Again, the answer is yes.
Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”
I experience His care every day in many ways that I often take for granted. Air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat are all examples of how He provides for the very necessities of life. His attention and concern for me are also evident in the trying times that I face.
God’s care for me does not guarantee that I will never go through dark valleys or difficult circumstances.
But it does mean that I can be assured that He is with me and that He will provide what I need in those difficult times. Sometimes He brings answers to my requests in unexpected ways like He did in providing a mother for Mustang. Other times, His care and provision is evident in the strength and comfort that He provides in the midst of life’s challenging, overwhelming and at times, painful moments.
In every moment that I live (easy or difficult) and in every circumstance (good or bad) that I face, I don’t need to fear, because…
My Father cares for me, and He will provide what I need, because that is what He has promised.
Of a young, orphan colt.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29 – 31.