This first calf heifer had been in labor long enough that we now had to decide whether or not to intervene and assist her in the process of delivering her first calf. Jack first spotted her about four hours ago walking around sniffing the ground with her tail up looking for the perfect place to lie down. (I have always wondered just what a cow smells for that helps them determine just where they want to lie down and push during labor. They will walk and smell, walk and smell, until they find that perfect spot. They will continue to do that until they finally deliver. I will save that discussion for another time, but if anyone knows the answer to that question, please let me know).
All that was visible when Jack first spotted this soon to be new mama was a little bit of her water bag protruding. We had just pulled a calf the day before because the water bag never broke and the heifer could not deliver the water and the calf. Once we broke her water (which was a lot of fluid), the calf was easily delivered. Now this heifer is mimicking the other heifer. Surely we would not have that problem twice in two days.
We had watched and waited with the headlights and/or flashlights for the last couple of hours, but she just was not making any visible progress, so we decided to just leave her alone, go home, get some supper and come back to check her in an hour or so. If she was not progressing by then, we would help her.
As I approached her an hour or so later, it was obvious she was now in hard labor and not really concerned about me or anything else except the pain and pressure she was experiencing. As I made my way around the barn so that I could see what I needed to see without getting too close, I finally spotted the two white front hooves that I was longing to see. My brother Steve who lives in KY was on the phone getting a play by play on her progress.
In just a few more minutes, I saw more movement and my flashlight caught a reflection of the baby’s eye—now I knew the head had made it out, which can often be a problem in itself. All that remained to finish the process was to deliver the hips. Once the feet and head have cleared, unless there is a problem with the hips of the calf, the next push or two will usually send the calf sliding on out into the cool of the night. I told Steve, “It won’t be long now. I can see the calf’s eye blinking in the light, so I know it is alive for now. If the hips will just clear, I can call it a night knowing that both mama and baby are fine”. Just as I said that, I saw the heifer make one last push and out came the calf! As it picked up its head I saw the beautiful blazed face calf that we had been waiting for.
For an experienced cattleman, it is not difficult to spot a cow going into labor. If you know what to look for, the signs of labor are obvious, even in the very early stages.
The same is true for those who are trained by the Word of God and who looking for the return of Jesus. Just as the signs of labor are obvious in the heifer, so are the signs of return of Jesus just as obvious to those who are looking and awaiting His return. All you have to do is look at the prophecies in the Word of God and the signs of what is going on in the world, the Church, the cultures, the schools, the governments, the environment and the lives of people, and you know it will not be long.
If the return of Jesus is indeed near, and if He will rule and judge the world when He comes, what am I to do? What are you to do? I heard a song on the radio this week that I have never heard before, but that I thought provided a pretty good answer to this question. Here are the lyrics the best I could determine:
“Time is winding down just look around us, Evil's breaking loose on every side The devil knows his time is almost over Soon the clock will stop and Jesus Christ will split the skies. So shout it from the rooftops, proclaim it in the streets, Tell your friends and neighbors, tell everyone you meet We all need a Savior but we're running out of time He's coming back at midnight and it's 11:59. God's prepared a place for all his children, Free from fear and doubt and tears and pain But we must choose our destination There's just one way to heaven, and Jesus is his name So shout it from the rooftops, proclaim it in the streets, Tell your friends and neighbors, tell everyone you meet We all need a Savior but we're running out of time He's coming back at midnight and it's 11:59. And the rocking of the father he'll soon stand to his feet And hear "Son go get my children and bring them all to me." So shout it from the rooftops, proclaim it in the streets, Tell your friends and neighbors, tell everyone you meet We all need a Savior but we're running out of time He's coming back at midnight..........it's 11:59. SPOKEN: over musical interlude.... He's coming for a bride that is spotless and is pure washed in the blood and ready to go Time is running out....it's almost time to go.”
If you are not ready, I pray you will get ready by confessing and turning away from your sin and placing your faith in the shed blood of Jesus for your salvation. If you are personally ready to meet Him, please sound the alarm and tell everyone you see. We are running out of time—He’s Coming Back at Midnight and It’s 11:59!