29th June 2020
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.”
Proverbs 14:4 (ESV)
As a kid I would often visit my Grandparents’ farm with the family and it was a fascinating place to explore. There was old machinery, new machinery, old straw thatched roofs, shearing sheds and of course the variety of animals on the property. I do remember going into the cow yard on a number of occasions and watching the milking process. Keep in mind this was a while ago and it wasn’t exactly the pristine dairy that we might see today. Winter time in particular saw the yard leading into the dairy become a muddy quagmire, and it was a combination of mud and (excuse me) ‘cow poo’ - lots of it. However it was great fun sloshing around in rubber boots! I am sure that my grandparents would have loved the cows to have behaved themselves and just left the poo in the paddock - because the stalls would have to be cleaned out after every milking session. You may have noticed that life can be messy at times, and if I could put it politely I am sure we would all like to have a poo-free, neat and tidy life. Jesus however said this years ago: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV) The interesting thing about my grandparents is - I don’t recall them ever complaining about the cows - except when one would refuse to go into the stall. They actually loved their animals, but also there was the blessing of the milk at the end of the day. The mess was just part of the process - but to keep the yard clean would have meant keeping the cows out - but then no milk. In this life we could attempt to hide away from the world and any mess associated with it but it could end up being a fairly fruitless life. Anything worthwhile in life will have a cost associated with it and yes, may even be messy, but Jesus has promised peace in the middle of the mess and fruit that remains. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (John 15:2 NKJV) Having said all of that remember that one day: ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 NKJV) That is, no more mess!