|Cows coming for apples|
I love the country. My grandmother owns a beautiful, forty acre, piece of property in East Texas. I visited my grandparents often as a child and loved spending summer weeks there. My grandfather went to be with the Lord years ago and a few things have changed around their place – my grandmother is aging, the once-upon-a-time bountiful garden is now overgrown with weeds, and the cows have all been sold off.
But my memories of their place are forever etched in my mind and heart. I often let my mind wander off to their long, sandy driveway I played on as a child. Memories of peach trees, plum trees and blackberry vines, feeding my sense of smell and my tummy! Their house was on a high hill, and I can still feel the breeze coming through the window at night as I’d try to doze off to sleep.
|Karalee and Katelyn with “Bottle Baby” 2005
We take our two girls there as often as possible, desiring them to have the same special memories. The girls especially loved to feed the horses and cows before they were sold. Not only did they love hay, but they had a real appetite for apples.
Since I’ve gotten older, nearly every trip to my grandmother’s house included a stop at the local store to buy a bag of apples. My husband would cut the whole bag of apples up into tiny pieces so that our “feeding the cows” adventure would last a long time! After my grandfather died, we’d hop in his old truck, and it would die at least a time or two before approaching the pasture gate. My husband would get out, open the gate and we’d head straight down into the pasture. As soon as the cows would hear the truck coming, they’d come running. The girls were thrilled!
|Brian with “Bottle Baby”|
Before the cows would reach us and especially before the bull reached us, we’d all hop into the truck bed as fast as we could. In no time, the cows would have us surrounded, and we’d have a blast feeding them. One cow, in particular, was very people-friendly. She was bottle fed as a baby, hence the name, “Bottle Baby”! We had to throw the apples to some cows because a few were afraid to get too close to us, but Bottle Baby would feed right out of our hands. One time our youngest daughter got the shock of her life when Bottle Baby engulfed her whole arm with her mouth! We thought for a minute that she was going to take more than just the apple! She never hurt Katelyn though. Bottle Baby was very gentle.
The bull looked so friendly and would even get close enough to eat the apples, but no way could you trust him. Being in the truck bed meant that obedience from our girls was top priority. With that old bull close by, obedience meant life or death to us and our girls. The bull could be quite moody, and he had been known to charge at my grandmother from time to time. Teaching obedience is one of the most important things you can ever do for your children. If our girls had not obeyed us and had jumped out of the truck bed, they could have been hurt severely.
Did you know obeying God is one of the most important things you can ever learn to do? God brought to my attention a very special verse in Deuteronomy 32:46-47 that says, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you – they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
Knowing God’s Word and obeying is “life” for us. Disobeying God is like stepping out of that truck bed and getting hooked by a fiery bull. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
The world offers so much that is contrary to God’s Word. We teach our children to obey for their safety, and that is exactly why God wants us to obey Him. God loves us and promises life for those who obey Him. I would imagine one of Satan’s greatest hopes is that we won’t obey God, and we won’t take Him seriously. He would love for us to step out of line with God, so that he can do his best to devour us.
We are definitely in the truck bed of life, and we have a choice to obey or disobey our Father. Stay close to God, where there is safety or step out of the truck bed (following after the world) and get hooked by Satan. The consequences can be devastating. You, like me, may have found that out the hard way a few times. But know that it is never, never too late to jump back into that truck bed, in God’s arms, to safety!
“They are not just idle words for you – they are your life!” The grass is not greener on the other side!