I used to have this cycle where events would tell me that I didn’t belong. I would work it out sometimes rather fast, but it took my time and energy. Cycles can be exhausting and wear you out. I began to see this as unfruitful and pressed in further with the Lord. While it was great I could work it out in my heart, I wasn’t so sure God wanted me to be on auto-repeat with the same situation.
As I asked the Lord, I heard the word ‘cattle prod.’ Growing up around Minnesota farms, I knew what a cattle prod was but felt an invitation from the Lord to study them further. WOW! A cattle prod’s purpose is never to kill or destroy the animal; it is to CONTROL them with the purpose of getting them to MOVE IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. I asked God to show me who gave the enemy the legal right to use this tool on me, and I saw my mom. My childhood was full of pain and heart splinters, causing me to move out for good when I was in the 8th grade. But the picture He showed me was when I still lived with my family. Surprised by the time frame, God showed me that my mom would often make comments about me not belonging, or she would say, “Maybe you need to live elsewhere.” This taught me, long before I was removed from the home for good, that I didn’t belong in the circle. So fast forward to adulthood when circumstances gave me the message I didn’t belong; it was like a cattle prod in my side. It would get my attention, and I would stop doing what I was doing and spend time unpacking the hurt and lies. I always found the truth and peace again, but once I realized the root of where this was coming from, I forgave my mom for teaching me I didn’t belong and declared that tool no longer effective. I saw Jesus come to a herd of cows (and had the sense I was one of them). When He scooped me up, I morphed into a little lamb snuggled in His arms. He carried me away from the dirt and manure and brought me to the grassy field. But when He set me down, I immediately tried to run back to the herd. Why in the world would I do that if He just reduced me? He said, “Because it is familiar. You believe you are a heifer, but you are My sheep. The cattle prod is used on those who do not know who they are (identity). It is My job to keep you in the pasture, but I do not use a cattle prod to control you; I use My staff to lead you.”
The irony of the cattle prod is that it always seemed to happen right before something big in my life, and it caused me to not only stop but move in the opposite direction. Hmmm.
HeartWork – Do you have an area of your life where you feel like you get cattle prodded out of the blue, and it takes you days or weeks to find your footing again? Ask Jesus to show you what He wants you to see. Maybe this isn’t so much about you but about the enemy using past experiences to shock you into old cycles. Ask Holy Spirit to bring healing to the area you keep getting poked in and for Him to break the power of the cattle prod. You are not a heifer. You are His sheep!