At the age of 11 one of my sons was given the opportunity to bottle-feed and raise a premature calf. A friend asked him to take over the care of the little 30 pound, brown-eyed, darling named “Baby.” No bigger than our medium sized dog, Baby was so tiny at birth she couldn’t even reach to nurse her mother so she had to be bottle-fed to survive.
My son quickly took to being Baby’s “mother.” He got up each morning and prepared her bottle and then made another one for her in the evening. Nine months later, she was weaned, healthy, eating grain and hay and happily roaming the pasture with the big cows…..until 4:00 every afternoon.
Baby would hear my 11 year old son calling out, “Come on, cows!” and she would be the first to come tearing through the back pasture and run up to the fence to be petted and loved and fed her evening meal.
Many times when I couldn’t find my son, I knew he would be out back with his beloved cows. When Baby was much larger, I would find him leaned up against her side both of them napping in the sun. (This is one of my favorite photos ever of Baby and our son, so I had to share it with you!)
It is a picture that completely embodies LOVE and TRUST, between cow and boy…..
It amazed me how close this calf and boy were to each other. In the time span of 9 months, he had fed, nurtured, cleaned up after, played literally on his hands and knees, herded, talked to, corrected, trained, and loved this brown ball of fuzzy cow hide, and gained her complete love and trust. He “became” a cow for Baby’s sake, to save her life. Baby had no mother to care for her so my son became what she needed. He has appropriately now been named the “Cow Whisperer.”
Philippians 2:6-11 says that Jesus took on the form of man, He became “Man” for our benefit, for our sake, so that He could become the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Because He chose to live on Earth as a man, He understands our struggles and temptations, yet lived without sin. He knows our pain, joy, hardships, and desires. Jesus chose to become man all so we could have life, and life eternal!
My 11 year old cowboy paints a wonderful picture of becoming like the cow to gain its trust, save its life, and of his sacrificial love and care for this animal. Jesus, in all His heavenly glory, chose to step down from heaven to earth, to literally become a man, for the sake of us, His beloved. What greater love has ever existed? What a picture of love!
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