Thursday, July 2, 2009

Stubborn Heifer or Lamb In A Meadow?

"The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer.
How then can the LORD pasture them
like lambs in a meadow?"
Hosea 4:16 (NIV)

Hmmm.....a stubborn heifer. Oh, that sounds so awful, so unruly, so...unseemly. Let's at least have a little social decorum,stubborn heifer! Now on the other side of the farm is the breath-taking contrast: "a lamb in a meadow" lovely, peaceful, loyal and obedient is that little lamb!

As I read this verse the other day, I was scratching my head with my hoof, I mean hand, and searching my heart. How often am I that "stubborn heifer" rather than the "lamb in the meadow" that the LORD wants to pasture so lovingly? God continued to speak to me through this scripture, which followed right along with my Treasure Verse Tuesday verse this week: (Hosea 2:14) "I will lead her into the desert ["pasture" is one of the definitions for that word] and speak tenderly to her." (NIV)

I am a lamb at heart. But sometimes that stubborn heifer rears her ugly head and digs in her stilettos...I mean heals. But I am a lamb at heart. I want my heart, my thoughts, my words, my behavior, my life to reflect that of an obedient and faithful lamb of our Lamb of God.

A few summers ago during our now-annual summer family vacation to Camp of the Woods in the Adirondacks of New York, we heard Ravi Zacharias teach an amazing sermon on Psalm 23. The relationship we enjoy as lambs of the Good Shepherd is beautifully illustrated in Psalm 23. When Ravi was teaching this, I was writing in the margin of my Bible as quickly as I could. This is what he shared.

“The Lord is my shepherd”: RELATIONSHIP
“I shall not want”: PROVISION
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures”: REST
“He leads me beside still waters”: REFRESHMENT
“He restores my soul”: HEALING
"He guides me in the paths of righteousness”: GUIDANCE
“For His name’s sake”: PURPOSE
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death”: DESTINY
“I will fear no evil”: PROTECTION
“For you are with me”: FAITHFULNESS
“Your rod and your staff, they comfort me”: DISCIPLINE/SUPPORT/COMFORT
“You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies”: HOPE
“You anoint my head with oil”: CONSECRATION
“My cup overflows”: ABUNDANCE
“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life”: BLESSING
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord”: SECURITY
“Forever”: ETERNITY

Wow...every time I read this Psalm I am overwhelmed by His perfect love, care and provision for us, His precious lambs. Read Psalm 23 and soak in His goodness. If you are the type of lamb that writes in your Bible, you may want to jot the above notes down in the margin. We are the people of His pasture under His perfect care.

"Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for He is our God and
we are the people of His pasture,
the flock under His care.
Today, if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts..."

Psalm 95:6-8


Chatty Kelly said...

MOOOOO-ving post! (oops, there is my internal animal talking again). Sometimes I can be that stubborn heifer too. But thankfully I serve a loving and merciful God.

I love the Psalm 23 notes! That was great. And my favorite line in your post? Digging in your stilettos of course! Great post!

Rachel Olsen said...

Hey Friend. Great post!

Wanted to let you know you've been on my mind off and on for about a week now, and I've been stopping to pray for you and your family.

Hope all is well, and I will miss seeing you at She Speaks!

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

That was awesome!

I wrote them down the first time you shared these notes!

How precious and lovely are His words!

How awesome and amazing is His love!

How wonderful and perfectly we are created to be His sweet little lambs!

Hugs and blessings dear friend and Sister!

Time for us to get a date on the calendar! Before this summer swiftly moves on without us seeing each other!


Joyful said...

Sharon, I just love what you shared. I will be writing those words in the margin of my Bible as well. Oh, how all encompassing is God's care for us.

Have a great day.
Love ya,

Mich said...

Love that. I am going to come back when I have more time and take notes. :) Thanks!

I live on the opposite side of the sate from the university. But Arkansas is not that big. We all call the "hogs" around here. :) My family lives up that way.

christy rose said...

Excellent post! I love what you did with Psalm 23. It is amazing how you can see God's overwhelming perfect love, care and provision! Amen!
This was just great!

Mich said...

I nominated you for an award. I know you have already been sent this by someone else too, but I am thankful for you and the encouraging words you send my way everyday!

Heather said...

Cow bells, hooves, heifers... I'm just sayin' farmgirl, you been hanging at Tanners a bit too much this summer!

This is an awesome post! I love it, still can't get past the visual of you scratchin' you head with your hoof, it makes me completely crack up:) It's late, I have the giggles!!

Yeah, I run with the stubborn bull my fair share, but I am desperately seeking the lovely little lamb and I know she's in here somewhere!

Thank you for blessing my day with an impecable message but also for making me laugh, bringing joy, serving Him by loving on all of us. You make a difference, my dear.

Much love,

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

What a great post!! How often have I acted like a stubborn heifer when God desires me to be meek and obedient! And it aint a pretty picture when that happens! No siree.

I love the notes you took--they really ministered to me! I have always enjoyed hearing Ravi Zaccharius speak (I used to listen to him on the radio--but we don't get that program anymore)

It's wonderful to meet you and I think I'm going to spend just a little more time tonight in Psalms 23!

Runner Mom said...

Hmm...from one stubborn heifer to another--oopsie! I meant little lamb to another lamb!! I am right there with you! This post was awesome! I read your scripture over at Wendy's and loved it! Now, another blessing from the 23rh Psalm. Thank you Sharon for sharing your honesty and your love for the Lord! You are precious!

Love you!

3 Blessings said...

I love your blog and I have added myself so that I can read more.

Have a praise filled day!

Carolee said...

Awesome...1st time doing a blog hop and trying to get back into the swing of blogging...recognized your name on list...then realized from where.
Anyways, wanted to let you know I was just heifering(is that a word?)
by trying to print your selection...didn't work of course and I wrote it all down manually...which should of been the 1st thing I did. This verse has special meaning, a handful of very special people prayed Psalm 23 over my sister as she passed away...even though I was hundreds of miles away, when the events of her passing was recited in person to me by her loving husband, I was content knowing the care and peace she was in.
Thank you!
Have a Wonderful 4th!

Toia said...

Great post!! I really love the part of Psalm 23. I know there are times where I can be a stubborn heifer. I am praying that I allow God to release me of such. Enjoy your weekend!!

Sheila said...

Hoppin by to say hello! Have a wonderful weekend!

Anissa said...

Stopping by from the Blog Hop nice to meet you! Checking out all the different blogs. Have a Happy Fourth!

What a beautiful post -- I'm reading Psalm right now and love it so much. I have so much stuff underlined -- I want to make me a book of verses to have with me at all times. Thank you for sharing. Your blog is awesome.