Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lessons from Rambo

Over the years we have had a lot of animals, each with their own unique temperament. There was Sally the cow who always wanted to claim every calf that was born. She would march into the barn at the front of the herd when ever there was a new calf in the barn so she could spend a few minutes nuzzling it while the rest of the cows found their stalls.

There was Dolly, the cow that was so greedy and could stick her tongue out amazingly far to swipe her neighbors choice bits of feed while she ignored her own generous pile in front of her until she was sure she couldn't possibly swipe any more from her neighbors and then was full and satisfied before she got all of her own rations eaten.

There was Buddy, the horse who loved children so much and would do everything he could to unlatch the gate and spend time with them in the yard.

Alexander, the cat who loved catching a ride every evening on one of our horse's backs. He would climb up the side of the stall and hop on the back of one of our most gentle horses every evening when it was time to take him to the water trough and into a special pen where he could spend the night more comfortably. Alexander would then hop off his back and snuggle into the straw next to the horse. I really wish we would have had a camera back then!

Then there was Rambo the pig. We had pigs before without any problems who went about their life being content with all the good food they got to eat and sleeping and rooting and doing pig things. Rambo was different from the beginning. He was a squealer which in itself wasn't that bad but he was also mean, almost evil. He would have liked nothing better than taking a chunk out of anyone who dared step inside his pen.

One week LV was gone on business.  Everything was going fine, the calves weren't giving me any problems, I was keeping Rambo's troughs filled with food being careful to stay outside his pen while filling them. Everything was going smoothly and I was almost ready to congratulate myself when Sailor came running into the house saying that Rambo is gone.

My heart sank as I went out to the barn and discovered he had somehow managed to dig a hole under the side of his pen big enough to escape. Following the trail he had made rooting across the driveway into the pasture and into the woods I finally caught a glimpse of him snorting and rooting happily under some trees. Pigs aren't the easiest creatures to herd to begin with and since Rambo was not anywhere near to being classed a pet I knew I was in for a challenge to get him back inside the barn. I could try the lasso on him but he was big and strong and I knew even if I managed to get him I wouldn't be able to pull him back where he belonged.

Nothing I tried was working as he went deeper into the woods. I remembered several of our neighbors had said if I needed anything at all while LV is gone to let them know. Now seemed to be a good time to take them up on that offer but after trying to call them and no one answered their phone I was back to square one.

Sailor was following me every where talking and worried we would never be able to get Rambo back and wondering what we were going to do. I knew there was no way I could possibly do this on my own so I said. "Let's pray."  And we did. Nothing fancy at all but it came from the very depths of my heart as I said "I can't do this God, but I know You can."  I walked back to the woods again. This time Rambo didn't run away but stood patiently as I walked up to him. I asked him to come and turned around and started walking back to the barn. Rambo was a changed pig and followed right behind us as if he were a pet kitten. All the way back to the barn and into his pen. There had never been a pig more tame or gentle anywhere.

I closed up the pen and patched the hole he had dug to make sure it never happens again. We went back to the house amazed and thankful at the direct answer to prayer we had received.

I have thought about it a lot since that happening. We have seen many answered prayers already but this is one of the few that the children still cherish and love talking about. I love those little faith builders and am glad our children have witnessed prayers being answered right before their eyes. It's something they can remember for the rest of their lives.

13 comments:

  1. What a lovely share, Mary Ann. If only our pig had been so kind to listen to prayers.

    He tore up a picnic sliding right down the middle of the neighbors table of food. He decided the closed swimming pool across at the neighbors was a delightful place to cool off & what a time trying to get him off that cover. He decided to root thru the woods & gardens of the neighbors ... he would follow the trails of corn home, get re-pinned up to figure out another escape. Ugh! He came by his name rightfully ... Nosey!

    Have a beautiful day ~
    TTFN ~
    Marydon

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  2. this story touches me in a special way as an aspiring pig farmer and lifelong animal lover. I have found often that with animals that are being impossibly fractious taking a moment to collect one's thoughts, slow one's racing heartbeat, and pray... the positive change in one's attitude is communicated to the animal and it is convinced to cooperate. did God tell Rambo to listen to you, or did God provide you with the way to center yourself and ask Rambo to come home in a way he would respect? either way, your and your children's (and your readers') faith is rewarded and the pig came home... because of your prayer.
    thank you for sharing this tale. what a wonderful way to start the day. :)

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  3. We serve an awesome God! So often we are actually amazed when our prayers are answered so clearly. Thank you for sharing.

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  4. Wow great story! Did Rambo remain a changed pig or did he go back to his old ways?

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  5. Great story, what a witness! It's plain to see you have the "usin' kind" of religion. That's a reference to a line from the movie Sargeant York. We don't watch tv and only a very few movies as so many are worldly, but that one is worth its weight in gold.

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  6. Oh how wonderful that Sailor got to see firsthand how God cares about every detail of our lives--I love this story! Thanks for sharing,
    Jen

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  7. I loved hearing of God's immediate answer to your prayer! Scripture says, "My sheep know my voice." I guess His pigs do,too! ;-)

    When my grandfather was in the US Coast Guard, the station had a piglet which was supposed to be raised for food. Well, those big,strong men grew to love Bertha, so when it was she'd grown to butchering size, they didn't have the heart to do it! She had become their pet. She'd follow them all over the grounds and sit at their feet when they were still. One day Big Bertha followed one of the men to the privy, and she lay down to wait for him to return to the fresh air. The only trouble was, Big Bertha was huge...and she had lain down in front of the door! The privy until the next man felt the need to visit the little shanty!

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  8. If God can change the heart of a pig by prayer, He can change anyone.

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  9. An amazing story! Have had several times where I saw a prayer answered!

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  10. It's a blessing to read of Rambo and the prayer of faith displayed through him. Too often we don't depend on God -- and we need to give Him praise and glory in front of others for the answers He provides for us so openly. Thanks for sharing this.

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment. I love hearing your thoughts.