Have you ever had a bull charge at you? Have you ever had a bull charge at you with your young child at your side? I have and now I finally know what God says about that specific situation. The Bible is an awesome place to find out when we can call “bull” on certain things.
I don’t always read every single word every single year but I try hard to read through the Bible once a year. Have done this for years, more than a decade now. Personally, I have to do this because I don’t learn everything the first time around. It takes me a while. I learn in layers and lots of repetition. And God say’s to keep our nose in His word daily!!
Back to my bull story and how God showed up 20 years later to reveal truth to me.
I owned a horse ranch at one time, back when my children were itty-bittys. We lived on the ranch in a house that was surrounded by an immediate fence. After that confined safety, there were layers of fencing within the ranch.
We had horses and we had a dog, 2 peacocks, numerous ginny hens all that was ours and tame. I like tame animals when they are in my yard.
Then… we had a roaming lama that would appear out of nowhere from time to time. No clue to this day who owned it.
Then… we had a tenant. He traded us free horseback riding lessons for the use of part of our land. He had 70 head of cattle and his wild horses, about 10-15 at any given time. I will tell you a mighty wild-horse story another time. There was plenty of fencing, plenty of pastures, all was good.
When we first moved on to the ranch I had 2 young children, ages 2 and 4. We were in heaven, or so we thought. We had 87 acres to roam in, to play in, to find peace and tranquility in.
Well, there were days that it was very peaceful and there were days that there was danger.
When we first moved there this tenant had a baby bull. I wasn’t real thrilled with it but everyone else said it was SO cute and cuddly that we had to allow it. Back then I did not express myself as clearly as I do today. Back then I did not have the confidence in myself as I do today. Back then just about anyone could walk all over me, even a bull.
This “cute and cuddly” baby bull was in our immediate yard EVERY single morning. I would wake up to the sight of him in my bedroom window EVERY single morning.
Even though I was a push-over back then, I was a good mom. I always got up first and always went outside to scoot the baby bull out of the immediate yard and close the gate. Then I would wake the kids and they were safe to go outside in the immediate yard and I always had an eye on them because they were so young.
On horseback, the bull was not as scary and I could maneuver it around a bit more. Up high on a horse, things never look as scary.
This is the part of the story that matches God’s word…
Warnings .. I warned the owner of the baby bull, who was our tenant, that I wanted that bull removed from the property. I repeatedly asked him. I was ignored, repeatedly.
Later, here we are 20 years later, that warning showed up in my Bible reading. God is so awesome how He shows up. Back to the bull and ranch story…
So, the baby bull grew quickly, very quickly. This is a two-year time frame so this bull had enough time to become a full-sized teenager!!!
I continued with my morning routine of scooting him out of the immediate yard every single morning. I know what you are thinking — who is the fool to leave the gate open that this bull could walk into the yard EVERY single night?
It wasn’t me. I will leave it at that. There are fools in this world that we have to deal with.
I continued to complain more loudly, especially as the bull grew. It quickly became larger than I could handle in the yard every morning. It quickly converted from pet to beast. And it was never MY pet!!!
This has to do with God’s very specific word, that is why I am so tickled with this story.
Finally, the tenant came to his own conclusion that this bull needed to be in its own pasture and its own fencing. I warned him that the fencing was not sufficient, I wanted this specific animal off of my property. Again, another very clear warning that was ignored.
The last straw. This bull now was with an attitude, the bull kind of attitude that a bull naturally has. It naturally wants to charge and gorge, that is what bulls do. Why is this not obvious that, now a 3 and 5-year-old doesn’t need to be in this situation. It is their ranch to play and run in without the danger of a bull. I will never understand why that is not common sense!!
One morning I wake up and somehow this grown baby bull in back in my immediate yard. My 3-year-old son was with me when I went out to scoot him through the gate. The gate was only a few feet from him. How hard could this be?
Well… let me tell you…
I will never ever forget this moment. My 3-year-old son was gripping my leg, he sensed the sudden danger. We were maybe 20-30 feet at most from the bull. The gate was behind the bull. I assumed our presence there would gently encourage him to walk away from us which would have been right out the gate so I could close it.
Have you ever tried to gently encourage a bull?
For the first time, he did not like our presence and he made himself known. It is very clear when a bull is getting ready to charge. This “pet” bull gave a deep snort, he scratched the dirt with his front paw, twice, he titled his head and pointed his horns, then another snort.
I’m not kidding. This really happened. Scared out of my skull, petrified for my young child, I just reacted. No thought went into this at all.
The bull started his charge at us and I dropped, flat, hard and fast. What I had not realized is that before dropping my mama kicked in. My “don’t mess with my kid” took charge. Okay, so it was God and not me but you get the picture.
What I did in a split second (that is how I know that it was supernatural and not really me) was to turn so my back was facing the oncoming horns and in this turn, I took down my son with me. That placed him underneath me for safety and I was lying flat on top of my son.
Okay, the mama had covered the son, God had covered us all.
What happened next I will never comprehend except to say, God had our backs, literally.
The charge happened. I saw the bull prepare, then start coming at us building speed, then I closed my eyes and dropped. Suddenly there was no more noise of the charge and I felt no pain and there we all were, the bull and me lying on top of my son, dust rolling thick.
Petrified, I looked over my back and saw the bull standing two inches from my feet, now scratching at the dirt again, getting ready to charge again.
I used to freeze in trauma, I didn’t move. I have been traumatized and retraumatized to the umpteenth degree and until lately, I would just freeze. That is how I know that God was responsible for what happened next. Before the bull charged again, and remember he was only 2 inches from my feet, I scooped up my son in my arms and RAN. Maybe it was flying and not running! To this day, I thank God that my son was so small at the time. I had no problem scooping him up and running with the weight of him.
God’s word says something very specific about this situation. Oh, this is so fun.
Okay, that was my very last straw. Get that darn bull off of my property.
Again, the tenant refused.
Then with the bull in its own pasture, it actually went OVER the fence in one of its bull rages!! This time, the owner of the bull (my tenant) saw the event. He finally decided to put the bull in a more contained pen with much higher and stronger fencing.
I watched the relocation of the bull from the safety of my home. The kids wanted to watch too so the three of us sat at the safe window and watched the whole thing.
The dang “pet” bull didn’t like that pen. He charged at the fence and couldn’t bust it down so he went at it until he literally went up and over it. Had to see it to believe it. The owner/tenant of the cuddly cute pet stood there helpless.
Now the tenant gets a clue that maybe I am right. Get the dang thing off of my property. Nope, he refused. To court we go! The judge actually gave him 60 days to remove the bull. I know Texas is odd, but to care more about livestock than humans, young children??? To make a legal judgment for an animal instead of humans and instead of the actual landowner??? I was floored.
Now, with more human skills, with more years under my belt as a Christian, now with courage and conviction that I can articulate better, I can now face the bullies of this world better. Humm, I wonder if the word bully comes from charging bulls that try to trample on prey.
Finally, 20 years later, I am provided with exactly what God has to say about this kind of bull!!!
God was very specific and yet said NOTHING about there being any exceptions. No, Texas is not an exception to God’s word. Livestock and their owners also fall under common sense and God’s word…
28 “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible.29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death. 30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded. 31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter. 32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.~ Exodus 21:28-32 (NIV)
I know my perceptions of things can be a bit, humm, well… odd, different.
How I read God’s word is that He clearly states that “habit” is part of the equation to the solution. If the bull is in the habit of causing a nuisance, then the consequences also fall to the owner.
I know, this is Old Testament and we don’t live under those laws. Well, I beg to differ, sort of. Sometimes I have to refer back to the Old Testament to prove my point of basic common sense. I love reading through the Old Testament every year. Those stories instill common sense. We live in a global culture without much common sense. No matter what is going on around me, I want God’s common sense deeply imbedded in me. I am responsible for my actions and when I have His laws and precepts clear in my heart, then my actions are more likely to match God’s will.
God perfectly ties the concept together, placing the value of the Old Testament alongside living in the New Testament…
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.~ Galatians 3:10-14 (NIV)
We no longer fall under the “law” but I love the stories in the Old Testament that help me sort out living in todays “bull.” Even our justice system is not pure. I have no interest in busting on the legal system. I do have an interest in being held to a higher authority.
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.~ Galations 3:23-25 (NIV)
God showed up 20 years after the bull experience and is still teaching me lessons.
So, today when I read the common sense laws for bulls and their owners in Exodus, I was reminded of several things…
I can hear the Lord sweetly whispering to me, “You’ve come a long way, baby!! And I will always have your back” There is nothing about me today that would have allowed my young children to be in that situation. I now know how to take the bull by the horns and kick it’s bum to the curb. That transformation has been of the Lord’s doing, not mine. There have been times that maybe I was even the bull in some situations. 20 years later, it has now been sorted out. Boundaries clearly set and strong enough to keep the bull out, with the power of God with me!!!
Today, while reading in Exodus, I heard the Word of God clearly reveal that my common sense is solid, rock solid because it is based on the Bible. He is my rock, not my feelings or my particular thinking.
The Lord is my solid rock,
my fortress, my rescuer.
My God is my rock—
I take refuge in him!—
he’s my shield,
my salvation’s strength,
my place of safety.~ Psalm 18:2 (CEB – that’s a new one to me)
You cannot imagine my feelings and my thinking when all of that happened 20 years ago. My rage and anger at the time left me reeling. My fear for my children was appropriate but not heard by others. I cannot account for others but I can account for me.
The Lord has very lovingly guided me through muddy waters. There is very little “bull” allowed in my life now. The waters run clearly now. I can enjoy the lifegiving waters that Jesus has died and risen for. He stands with me in the streams with fresh clean clear pure water. My life now has a “flow” to it. No bull and no mud allowed within the immediate fencing of my home.
I no longer cower in fear. Heck at this point there is very little of this world that I truly fear. Fear no longer rules my life. I have a healthy fear of God that keeps me in check and at His mercy. But man… he falls under the authority and justice of God. God has all that sorted out. HE is our current justice system.
I don’t have all the answers but I have Jesus. I have God’s word that fills me with exactly what I need for the day. I have the Holy Spirit for specific guidance in the moment. When I woke up this morning, I certainly was not thinking about the past bull in my life. Yet, I was thinking about my precious children. Thinking about how much they have gone through at their still impressionable ages. Life takes us on wild adventures. The biggest best adventure of all is getting on the path with Jesus, having Him at my side at all times, no matter how much bull gets thrown at me. My fencing can be blown in the wind. Just try blowing Jesus away, can’t happen.
Thank you, Lord, for sorting out the “bull” in my life. You have single-handledly placed me on your solid rock. I have been humbled for your glory.
This ain’t my first rodeo folks. I feel like I have been banged around in a lot of rodeos. I did not wake up one morning and say whew, all the trauma, all the abuse, all the heartache is behind me and I suddenly have all the answers on how to live a life without problems. That’s not reality. I have been through many bullfights in my lifetime. I have not had all the answers but I have had faith and I have held on. God has the perfect timing and solutions for everything. He is the master provider, Jehovah Jireh.
Even though I have come a long way, there is still much to be done. Walking with Jesus is an ongoing process. I watch myself slip into some old thinking when I do not keep my eyes, my mind and my heart in the Bible on a daily basis. Not just reading, but praying, having faith, seeing hope because Jesus IS hope!!
May anyone who still allows bull in your life, work through it. I know it is a difficult and painful process but when we can see that we are more than victims, we rise above the circumstances and we are provided a safe “out.” We are precious children of the mighty God. He is more powerful than all the bullies of this earth.