She’a A Dead Cow – Don’t Call Me Anymore

18 Oct

We have a small herd of dairy cows on our farm here.  Each one has her own name and she knows it.  Whenever a heifer calf is born here, we give her a name that she will have the rest of her life.  We always like to give the calf a name that starts with the same letter as her mother’s name does.  That way it is easier to keep track of each ones lineage.  Sometimes, it’s a challenge coming up with new names for new calves.  Sometimes we come up with some real unique names.  Years ago once, when we had a beautiful heifer calf born here we came up with the name, “Kangkle”.

Sometimes a farmer gets a cow that he remembers all the rest of his life.  Kangkle was such a cow.  She grew up and became one of my better producing cows. She was a big beautiful Holstein cow that had a friendly personality all her own.  She got to be special to all of us early in her life.

Then one year in March, she gave birth to a real nice calf and started milking really good.  But, shortly after this one day I noticed she wouldn’t hardly eat anything.   It was obvious she was sick.  I took her temperature and it was sky high!  Lots of times I can diagnose what is wrong with a cow and treat her myself.  But this time I was baffled. We then as a family prayed asking God for healing for her.

I called the vet up and he came out and examined her.  He was just as puzzled as I was.  One thing was for sure, we had to get her fever down.  We gave her an I.V. of powerful antibiotics and the vet thought that would take care of it.

Unfortunately, the vet was wrong.  The next day she still had a high temperature and would only nibble at her feed.  We treated her again and kept praying.  The sad thing is that the days turned into weeks with no improvement.  We all felt sorry for her, and yet we were doing all we could possibly do.  Kangkle got to the place where she looked just terrible.  She looked like a bag of bones.

If this wasn’t bad enough, I had another young cow calve in that got sick just like Kangkle, just not quite as severe.  Finally, after running up a large vet bill, the vet said to me one day after treating Kangkle, “She’s a dead cow-don’t call me anymore.  As far as that other one goes, I don’t think she will live either.”  I replied, “How will Kangkle die?”  He answered, “You will come in here sometime soon and find her dead or she will be so weak that she wouldn’t be able to get up anymore and then will have to be put to sleep.”

The situation looked absolutely hopeless, but I know with God there is always hope.  We as a family kept praying for our sick cows and I took over treating them completely.  I knew I couldn’t call the vet anymore, so I used my best judgment in treating them.  Kangkle held onto life by a thread and then her fever started to slowly drop and she started to eat more along with my other cow.  In time I was able to quit the antibiotics on both of them and their temperatures returned to normal.  We were all so thankful to the Lord for saving both of our cows.

Kangkle was alive, but she was very weak and looked terrible.  She got her full appetite back and really went to eating along with the other one.  We fed them the best feed that we had and they started to put weight back on and produce milk again.

Then it happened one day when I was feeding Kangkle, I heard an inner voice say to me, “She is my cow.”  I thought it was strange and just brushed it off.  But a couple days later when I was feeding her again, I heard the same words.  This time I knew it was the Lord speaking.  I replied out loud, “Lord, if she is your cow what do I do with her?”  The answer came back immediately, “You can milk her as long as she is profitable and then when you sell her, I get the money.”  I responded, “O.K., Lord.”

I realized that if He hadn’t answered our prayers, both of those cows would have been dead.  So if He wanted one of them, He was certainly entitled to one.  But He chose the worst looking cow in the whole barn!  Kangkle!  She was just a bunch of skin and bones.  I thought He could have chosen a lot better one, but I didn’t argue with Him.  I learned a long time ago not to question God.  A lot of people would be much better off if they didn’t question God.

Well, Kangkle went to eating and eating, I guess she knew she had to make up for all she had lost.  Everybody here knew she wasn’t our cow anymore.  We all referred to her as, “The Lord’s Cow.”   So we all treated her extra special.

In time Kangkle put all the weight back on that she had lost.  She got to be the best looking cow that we had in the barn!  Over time a number of people walked down the aisle in my barn, electricians, plumbers, carpenters, feed men, neighbors and friends.  And it happened over and over again.  They would stop talking about whatever they were talking about and look at Kangkle and say, “What a beautiful cow.”  I never in all my life had a cow get so many compliments from others as she did after the Lord restored her.  God can take the worst, most hopeless cases and turn them into something beautiful for His glory.

A number of months later, when Kangkle was in her prime, I had to have the vet out for something minor on a different cow.  As the vet was outside the barn getting ready to leave, he turned to me and said, “Whatever happened to that cow I treated this last spring?”  I replied, “She’s in the barn there right now.”  He looked straight at me and said, “She can’t be.”  I responded, “Come on back into the barn and I’ll show her to you.”  With that he kept shaking his head and saying, “She can’t be.  She can’t be.”  I urged him to come back into the barn and look at her, but he refused and kept shaking his head saying, “She can’t be.  She can’t be.” With that he got into his truck and left.

We milked Kangkle for a long time after that, but the time came when she was no longer profitable to milk.  So the day came when we sold her, it was hard to do, but we knew it was the right thing to do.  The Lord guided us where to give the money, which we did.  He used it to help two people out and radically change their lives.  For which we give God the Glory.

The vet said, “She’s a dead cow, don’t call me anymore.”  In the natural he was right; Kangkle was a cow beyond hope.  But we serve a God where nothing is impossible. The Word of God is most certainly true in Luke 18:27 where it says, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”  Kangkle was next to dead, yet God raised her up and made her the most beautiful cow in the whole barn.  I have never received so many compliments on a cow in all my years of farming as I received on her.

God is still in the restoration business today.  He takes people in utterly hopeless situations that cry out to Him and makes something beautiful out of their lives for His glory.  If He did it for Kangkle, how much more wouldn’t He do it for a person?  I tell you He will do it much more so, I’m living proof of it!

Tom Heck, his wife Joanne, and their two children, Catherine and Joshua, own and operate a 35 cow, 159 acre dairy farm in northwestern WI.  Contact Tom at:  lifeonthefamilyfarm@gmail.com  Copyright © 2012 by Tom Heck.  All rights reserved.