When You’re a Lot Like a Goat

At night, we do the chores. Well, Ben does most the chores. He milks Hattie and Marge. I play with Mav and Chester. Ben hands me a pile of hay and then I motivate those little kids into their small house for the night. Ben carries the larger pile of hay to the bigger house-barn for the girls.

On his way, sprinkles of hay fall to the ground. Not enough to look desirable, but enough for our smallest goat, Roxy, to get sidetracked. While Ben carries the big, tasty portion of hay to the house-barn, Roxy doesn’t follow. She eats what’s on the ground. Like her life depends on it. Like there’s nothing more than the scrappy scraps she sees on the ground. She’d rather have what’s easy and immediate.

From my vantage point, it looks ridiculous! Ben has faithfully fed her since she was born, taking care that she has always had the food she needs. Roxy has known the luxury of eating in a safe, closed shelter at night and has enjoyed a bountiful food supply since the beginning! Her experience under our care has only ever been good, and always what’s best for her.

But you know what? From her vantage point, I GET IT. I am just like a goat sometimes. I settle for the scrappy scraps. I try to make those scrappy scraps the measure of my worth, the completion of my joy. I stay outside in the dark with all that’s scary and unknown while refusing the Refuge that has always provided the peace and comfort I long for.

I have eaten up the hay on the ground, assuming that’s the end of my story too. Nothing better or good or best could be waiting a few yards away. NOPE. Gonna settle for this hay, for what I can see, for what I can understand right now.

Ben’s footsteps are steady and sure. He waits by the door and won’t close it until she comes inside, but Roxy can see the scrappy scraps, so that’s what Roxy will settle for.

I come up behind her and push her forward. And just like that. . . she’s no longer distracted by the scrawny splattering of hay on the ground. She’s bolting to her safe place and the source of plenty. And just like every other night before this one, Roxy doesn’t have to settle.

Scraps have never been a part of our care for her. It’s always full provision, safety, and abundance. We love taking care of her. She’s our little NJ, our determined Roxy, our fun gift from God. Her stubbornness is never a strike against her. We just love her anyways and make sure she fed and safe and healthy.

I’m a lot like Roxy.

But God never opens His Refuge for me on a timer. He’s faithfully there, faithfully waiting–the shadow of His wings wide open for me! The truth of His Word nudges me from behind and I bolt to my Peace, my Hope, my Joy.

I remember I don’t have to settle.

In fact, my story isn’t the “settling” kind of story. It’s one of full provision, goodness, mercy, and abundance all the days of my life. And then I will dwell in the safety of the Lord’s House forever.

My fragile humanity and insufficient logic is never a strike against me. God just loves me anyway. Keeps every promise anyway. Heals my distressed mind anyway.  Forgives my angry heart anyway. Restores me always and in all ways.

Turns out I don’t have a story made of scraps.

And I don’t have to spend my life settling.

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