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It had been a long day and I was exhausted. I felt like falling asleep as I floated teeth on my last horse. My pocket started vibrating as my phone rang three separate times—not a good sign when you are on-call. One of my clients had come home to find a pregnant beef heifer upside down and bloated, stuck in a shed doorway. I rushed to get cleaned up and head to the emergency. As we pulled into the farm driveway I saw an extremely bloated heifer, four feet in the air, still as stone.  I said to the technician who was with me, “That heifer’s dead!”

It looked like a hopeless situation until I walked up to the heifer and she blinked. I still didn’t have a lot of hope that this would end well, for very bloated cattle can asphyxiate just in the process of haltering, and to add to that she had both a rectal and vaginal prolapse with the placenta showing. We quickly put the halter on and sat her up, but much to my chagrin, the heifer popped to her feet, and immediately rolled over backward, landing on the edge of a steep embankment…one more move and the heifer would land tangled in the electric fence at the bottom of the hill.

Have you ever been in a situation that seems like a hopeless mess? What did you do and to whom did you turn? As a large animal veterinarian, when someone’s cow, horse, sheep, or goat is in a very bad way they call me. My clients look to me to tell them if their animal’s situation is hopeless or if it has a chance, and then they want me to fix it.

Yet, as doctors, whether DVMs or MDs, we ultimately cannot heal our patients. We can only influence the natural healing process already built into the bodies of patients we care for. It is our responsibility to give a reasonable prognosis and to administer medically sound treatments. However, the one who does the healing is God, not the doctor.

No matter how talented or experienced the doctor, the mechanic, the repairman, the computer technician, or the counselor, there is a limit to their knowledge and ability. Not so with God. God knows everything and holds all power. Everything that happens is part of his perfect plan, even the freely made choices of men and women are, at the same time, under his control (the great mystery of divine sovereignty and human responsibility). God does allow bad things to happen in this world (there are many reasons for this which I don’t have time to explain now), but God is always good and loving. Listen to his words from Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

There is always hope for those who trust in the Lord Jesus! He came as the great healer and he overcame the power of death. But note the qualifier on the promise from Jeremiah 29 found in verses 12-13- “… come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

This prompts the question, are you seeking the Lord? When you encounter difficultly in your day is the Lord the first one you talk to or your last resort? Are you seeking the Lord with all your heart? God has guaranteed in this verse that he can be found, but maybe you would rather not find him because you are doing something you know he doesn’t like? Seek God, come to him in repentance, for he is calling to you with open arms, ready to forgive, desiring to heal and help in both the big and little things of life.

Romans 8 has many great promises, one of them being “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (verse 28).

To finish the story about the beef heifer, we were able to get the gas off her. I was able to pull the calf and replace the prolapses even while the bull bellowed and shook his head around us. The heifer got up afterwards and even gave us a chase in getting her sorted away from the bull and into the barn.

It was one of life’s small miracles that day and I thanked God for keeping us safe, giving us a good outcome, and for the opportunity to help the owner of that heifer. For just a few weeks prior to this incident, the heifer’s owner had come to the rescue of my brother who in another seemingly hopeless situation had almost tipped over my dump truck which he was driving!

It is amazing to see how God works in the events of our lives. Though many difficult situations in life will not end as well as my vet call did, ultimately life will end very well for everyone who loves the Lord Jesus. Those who trust Jesus are never hopeless for they have the promise of Romans 8:38-39 which states that “neither death nor life, nor angel nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” For those who trust Jesus, his love is always with them and will carry them into enteral paradise someday to live with the Lord forever! For it is the Lord Jesus who ultimately determines what is hopeless and what is not.