A Reason To Be Thankful: The Story Of A Goat
While in Ethiopia, I spent time interviewing many missionaries. Some were missionaries coming back to report what God was doing; others were new missionaries about to be sent out. While conducting the interviews, I heard many amazing stories about the work which God is doing. Some told stories of struggles with persecution. Others told stories of how God was healing sick people and setting people free from demonic possession. There were even multiple stories of the dead being raised, one which I will share in a later post. But of all the stories there was one that stood out to me the most. It was the story of a goat.
I was told by the missionary, we will call him John for the sake of this blog, that in many of the villages there a lot of people who own sheep and goats. One day John met a villager who owned a goat with an injured leg. The owner was telling John how he was going to take the goat to the edge of the village so he could leave it there to die. John told the owner not to throw the goat out. The owner, taken back, asked him, “Why shouldn’t I throw the goat out? It is of no value. It is sick.” John responded, “Wait, you will see.”
John then prayed for the goat and its leg was healed. The owner was astonished. He was amazed that God would care so much for a worthless goat. The owner then told John, “If God cares for a worthless goat, He must care about me.” So the owner believed in Jesus and started serving Him.
Everyday we are told by marketers, friends, enemies, bosses, co-workers, family members, and even our own thoughts that we are more or less valuable because of something we do or don’t do, have or don’t have, or even by how much or little we look deep inside ourselves. God shares with us a glimpse of our value in this story of the goat. The goat was not valued by its owner and, to our knowledge, had no deep longings or aspirations. Its value wasn’t in its opinion or even in others’ opinions. We find that the goat, just like everyone of us, even those whom we may not “mesh with,” have extreme value because we are God’s creation and He loves and cares for us.