One event that has always marked the beginning of my summer vacation on the farm is the day my father lets the cows out into the field for the first time since winter.

At first, some of our cows approach the open gate of the barn cautiously. Some run into the grassy fields with reckless abandon. Some take their time, smelling every flower along the way.

But some cows don’t want to leave the safe haven that has become their home for the winter. It takes sometimes hours of coaxing to get them to leave and then they will only ever travel a couple steps.

        Whenever I watch these certain moments, it reminds me of how some of us choose to come to God after trials and hardships. Watching these animals again and again choose to live in fear instead of the abundance God has provided them in the fields truly encompasses what some of us do to ourselves.

         Ecclesiastes 3 starts with this:

“There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
   a time to tear and a time to mend,

    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
   a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.”

-Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

Focus on the words above: the repetition and the actions. What seasons are you in? What seasons have God helped you overcome? What words hit your chest with pounding truth?

 There is a time for hardship. There is a time to stay in safety and warmth like our animals in the winter. It’s easy to get stuck here.

When you are at a low point of your life, there must always be an effort and a climb to get to your high.

That’s why God says there is also a time to move, a time to step into what He has created for you. Sometimes the power of God’s love scares me because He loves us so much that He lets us make our own decisions. He will never force us to choose anything.

God will reveal to us what is missing in our lives; He will open doors for our next steps. But He will not make us move. That is entirely up to us.

The cows on our farm only seem to know what the four barn walls look like. Every season they seem to forget what had come before and what will surely come again. They have no idea the glorious and expansive riches that are waiting for them when they step out the door.

We are the exact same way. We forget the plans God has for us when we fall into hard times. We forget the life He wants us to live with Him.

Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10b)

Taking that first step is always the hardest.

But just like Peter, if our eyes are on Jesus instead of our circumstances, instead of sinking, we can and will walk on the water.

 About the Author: 

Ellie Zumbach is currently a student at Malone University studying Creative Writing and Theatre. From a very young age, she has loved stories and their power to encourage, teach, and inspire. She is a proud member of a drama ministry team known as the Chancel Players and a co-director of the Writers Guild on campus.

Have You Read Our Magazine? 

It features articles and interviews surrounding finding your purpose. Get yours in print or digital HERE.