Saturday, July 14, 2012

Calves of the Stall. . .

Malachi 4:2
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.


Continuing my study of the ‘fear of God.’

I can feel my former pride rise up at the thought of my ever being described as by this phrase as. . . ‘calves of the stall.’ In my former mind I would absolutely reject being portrayed by such a idea. The indignation of being compared to a kept animal, whether it be a calf or a sheep, was strong within me.

It all has to do with being willing to bend your will. . . your desires. . . your pride to another. The necessity of relinquishing your cherished free will, and independence, and submitting to the will of God is the very foundation for being a follower of Christ. . . not my will, but thy will Lord. In my former pride, the parallel concept of having a Lord was just as despised, as being being compared to a calf in a stall.

A calf running free on the range, spawns an idyllic vision in the mind, but the reality of that freedom is hindered by the need to find forage and good water, to avoid predators and disease. Rather than confinement by solidly protective wooden walls, and doors, the free ranging calf is bound by its physical needs of hunger, thirst, and driven by fear. These chains are less visible, but every bit as powerful.

My mind sees the parody of an imaginary well fed, beautifully coated calf dancing and proclaiming its freedom overlaid the reality of a scraggly furtive beast as it spends all its waking hours seeking survival through bitter winter snows, and summer's searing heat. . . softly whimpering. . . I am free. . . I am free. . . as it is devoured by wolves, or as it succumbs to hunger, or disease, or thirst.

The men and women I minister to in the jail, many are or were, at least in their own minds if nowhere else, truly free spirits. Not restrained or bound by laws of man or God. Conventions of politeness, respect, good citizenship, and discipline foreign to them. Submission to anything being outside of their makeup. No rules. . . no Lord to rule them. Their prideful spirit in horrific collision with now being forced to bend the knee by the hard unbending rules they find themselves under in the jail. . . .through clenched lips. . . I am free. . . I am free. . . as they are forced to completely submit to the authority of the jail staff.

It is a defining moment, when you finally admit that you need a Lord in your life. That your free and unrestrained will has done little other than to get you into difficulties and cause unending problems in your life.

At that time of surrender to God, I remember clearly the feeling of a lifting of a great weight from me. The gratitude of having found a moral compass, a moral authority with whom I could consult for advice, and wisdom on how to live and structure my life. . . . tired of battling wolves on my own, I gratefully, completely willingly became a calf of the stall. . . Gloriously happy to find the quiet waters. . . the green pastures. . . the safety and protection under His wings. . .

I love you my God. . .
I thank you my God. . .
You are my Shepherd, my Protector, My provider. . .

I love you my God. . .

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