I stand at the gate looking out over the pasture before me. “Where are the cows grazing today?” I think to myself as I scan as far as my eyes can see. Some days the Brahma Mamas are down in “the bottom”. “The bottom”, now that’s a field just past the pond, and I can’t see it from my house. Sometimes we haul hay in “the bottom” pasture, and sometimes we take and dump brush into a big ditch over the side of “the bottom”. Because even though it’s called “the bottom”, it seems to me that it’s a high spot on the land, but I suppose that’s because it rises up just passed the dam that forms the pond. When the cows are in “the bottom”, I have no fear.
Today, though, I’m not so lucky. There they stand. To my right, not far from the barn, the fifteen or so Brahma cows are grazing on the new spring grass. It’s a wonderful view; some might even call it peaceful. The white and red cows graze the Kelly green field, majestic humps upon their shoulders and ferocious horns on their heads, without a care in the world. There are only a couple of white ones, I suppose in actuality they are gray, but I’ve always called them white. They are my favorite to watch, but at the same time, I find myself most afraid of them.
Then I hear the barking and look to my left under the only clump of trees in the open field, I spy the dog pen. To fulfill my duty, I stand here at the gate with food bucket in hand. One of my chores, every afternoon after school, is to feed the dogs. The excited dogs jump and bark and eagerly await my arrival. I, on the other hand, dread the walk down the trail to the dog pen amidst the Brahma Mamas.
I imagine to myself, “If the cows charge me, I can run to the dog pen and close myself safely behind the fence, then I will yell for help.” Discouraged by my plan, I realize no one would hear me yelling that far from the house. Sometimes I would imagine being trapped in the dog pen, surrounded on all sides by cows, forever. As an adult, I realize the ridiculousness of this scenario, I am sure after 5 minutes, if I didn’t return to the house, my mom would have come looking for me. Even so, as a preteen girl, I felt my fear was valid.
“Okay, Amy, you don’t have all day, just do this.” I pep talk myself as I open the gate. Sure enough the gate creaks. It always creaks, and I always pray it won’t, but it does. I freeze, look at the Brahma Mamas who stop their grazing, lift their heads, and seem to look me in the eye. My mantra begins.
Eyes on the trail set before me, gate locked behind me, dog food in hand, I walk and pray: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Over and over I quote my scripture of safety to God, from gate, to dog pen, and back to gate. I open the creaking gate and relieved enter the safety of my backyard unscathed. Looking back, the Brahma Mamas stand grazing in their same spot as before, unmoved, and unconcerned by my intrusion upon their territory.
The threat of danger never existed or my parents would not have given me the chore of feeding the dogs, but to me the threat was very real. I faced my fear daily and believed if it weren’t for the grace of God, I would have been a Brahma Mama Happy Meal. God continuously protected me.
As I embark upon this daily walk down my trail of life, the devil spews threats of danger on every side, and sometimes I fear I might be surrounded. The threat of danger cannot affect me or my Heavenly Father would not have given me the tasks for which He has called me. So, I face my fear daily and trust in the Almighty God to bless me and keep me, to make His face to shine upon me, be gracious to me, lift up His countenance upon me, and give me peace (Numbers 6:24). No Happy Meal here; the devil will have to go hungry another day!!