"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain."
~Psalm 127:1

February 28, 2011

Late nights and break-downs

Farming can be incredibly rewarding, but other times it can be intensely frustrating.  Problems on a farm never seem to come one at a time, always in groups.  Cows can get in situations that they cannot get out of and need human intervention.  Robots, like parlors or any other type of milking system, can break down and need immediate attention, especially since our cows milk 24/7.

When there is a problem with the robots, an alarm is sent out by an electronic dispatcher, which will call Josiah.  It's an automated message that tells him which robot needs attention, what the general problem is, and which cow was most recently in the robot.  So there have been nights when Josiah or someone else is called out to fix a minor problem, it only happens at the most once per week. 

Regular maintenance on the robots is very important to keep the alarms to a minimum.  But cows are cows and sometimes they are steppy (I've learned that the weather affects their moods, and they are more jumpy when it is cloudy and muggy outside).  Putting a hose on is an easy fix, I can even do it.  But there can be more major problems, with any system, not just a robot.  But eventually we get things fixed and back to normal.

It reminds me of a while back when I had a stomach bug.  I was up most of the night sitting with a bucket next to me.  I was definitely dispatching some calls for help.  I was begging God not to let me throw up.  That time, I did, but that helped get the bug out of my body faster.  So the answer to our problems may not always be the easiest, fastest, or what we would desire the most. 

Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12, says,
"Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away.  Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need.  My power works best in weakness.'  So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me... For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Paul was also asking God to take away something that was tormenting him.  But what I get from this is that when we have problems and feel helpless and weak, that is when our guard is down and we feel like we can't help ourselves.  But if we turn toward God and ask for his strength, His strength is so much more than we could ever imagine.  Man at his strongest is immensely weaker than God at his weakest.  And God isn't weak at all.

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