As the bleating goats were released from their pens, they scooted down an incline in droves and instinctively rushed to an open gate that led to the pasture. Watching them rush out reminded me of the Exodus and the God of Deliverance that enabled the Israelites to have their first taste of sweet freedom in centuries as they turned their backs on Egypt, the land of slavery.
Boy, were those goats excited! Some skipped, some ran. Some took several high jumps bounding their way and enjoying the open space. I watched with concern at a nursing nanny goat that wobbled as her hind legs hit her engorged teats. Slowed down by the weight of the milk, she was one of the last to enter the grazing area.
Having breastfed all my children, I could easily identify with that nanny goat. I recall the discomfort of engorgements, of leaking, of pumping, which most definitely slowed me down. And four times, my life seemed on pause as my schedule revolved around the baby’s feeding time.
Yes, there were days when I felt left behind, unable to keep in step, but this, I regret not. As I stood with my grown kids fascinated by the goat farm, I remembered the God of Provision and how He fearfully created moms to meet the needs of their children at infancy. The ranch we were visiting bred horses as well, and we learned that the excess milk of nanny goats were used to feed the young fowls that lost their mothers at birth. How generous is our God!
Our younger children observed a little goat that failed to join the rest. Being the first to leave the caged pen, it was immediately attracted to nearby grass. Obviously distracted, it was oblivious to the herd of goats that passed behind it. Feeling sympathy for the stray goat, our youngest tried to get the attention of the caretaker, “Kuya, may isa pa do’n o” (Sir, there is another one over there). He retrieved the little goat, but to our dismay, instead of releasing the poor kid in the pasture, he put it back in the dark enclosure.
As a parent, this whole episode spoke volumes to me about the need of young children for guidance and training in preparation for the future. My thoughts reinforced God’s protective guidance. His Word instructs parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)
A child needs steering and training as opposed to being given freedom too early or being left to fend for himself. The goat was not led, nor redirected to the pasture. It got distracted, lost sight of the goal, and ended up left behind—short-changed, unable to enjoy true freedom, fellowship, and blessing.
Different is the story of another little goat that exited the pen, walking in cadence with its nanny by its side. Together they entered, what I amusingly called, the promise land. Though the tour guide was not with us, I sensed a voice within ask, “Are you letting Me steer your life, trusting in My wisdom as your Shepherd, or are you distracted and kept from experiencing My best?”
Who would’ve thought a visit to a goat farm could evolve into worship? It was a delight to learn about goat-raising plus-plus and to see my children just as interested to learn. Amusement parks do entertain, but I prefer nature parks that increase my knowledge of creation and my appreciation of their Creator.
Didn’t it seem like He took the tour with us? From the gentle eyes of a mare to the bountiful mammary glands of a nanny goat, from the encompassing shade of giant trees to candy-colored pea-size bugs, from a rugged ostrich herd to a calm pair of black swans, from a fountain kissed by a rainbow and picture-perfect palm trees all in a row, they all point to the majesty, splendour, and generosity of our God.
Felichi Pangilinan-Buizon, co-host of The 700 Club Asia, is a homeschooling mom, gospel songwriter, and seminar speaker on parenting and early childcare. She is involved in the ministry of teaching at her local church, Christ’s Commission Fellowship. She welcomes your messages and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at Twitter: @FelichiOfficial