Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

“Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

I love that I have friends who call me up and ask me to come snuggle baby goats! Those, to me, are some of the best friendships! Last week, I got just such a call. A friend in Clinton had two goats deliver – 5 kids total! As soon as I had a couple of free hours in my schedule, I stopped by. What a joyful time, just sitting in the stall with baby goats crawling all over us. A blessed moment to focus on the good things. In fact, I was so enthralled with the babies that I was a few minutes late picking my daughter up!

A couple of days later, the same friend asked me to come back and help with one of our least favorite tasks – disbudding one of the kids. Most goats naturally have horns. Although they do serve a function in helping to regulate a goat’s temperature, they are often more problematic than they are useful – especially in moderate climates like ours. Goats tend to get stuck by putting their head through an opening, and then not being able to get back out. Horns can also be dangerous to other goats, and to people. Goats that are shown in dairy shows in 4H are not allowed to have horns because of these reasons. Most (not all) goat farmers will disbud their goat kids to prevent the horns from growing. The procedure involves using a very hot iron to cauterize the tissue around the base of the horn buds – yes, it’s just as terrible as it sounds.

As we settled in to start the dreaded task, we reminded ourselves that what we were doing was a good thing. A few terrible moments for a lifetime with fewer problems.

After less than five minutes of work, we returned the little guy to his mama. She was a little curious about the silver spots on his head (AluShield is a great spray-on bandage), but welcomed him in for a meal. Babies of every species seem to be the same – a little milk and a snuggle makes everything better. I’m told that by the next morning he was bouncing around happily with his siblings.

Sometimes in life we have to do hard things. I am too often inclined to put them off for another day – somehow the mind convinces us that it will be easier later. We find, though, that things are not often as terrible as we think they will be. We also know that the act of doing these hard things will lead to a better future in some way; an injection or medical procedure today will make for a healthier tomorrow, saving money now will make retirement more comfortable, studying tonight makes the test next week much easier.

Perhaps focusing on the positive outcome will help us to more readily tackle these hard tasks. Looking toward the brighter future can encourage us to get through the darkness of a few moments. And remembering that we do not do these hard things alone, that God is with us and offering strength every step of the way, will help us to move forward.

Remember Philippians 4:13 tells us, “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” Let’s keep doing the hard things in hopes for a better future!

Deacon Amy

P.S. this little guy’s name is Chappy.