Certain animal are known for being stubborn. Goats, in particular, have intense wills of their own. Unlike sheep, they are not very inclined to obey their shepherd. Self-preservation is what dictates life for them. My dad has always raised goats, and they serve as a constant source of aggravation. Over the last few years, he has taken to raising Boer goats. This particular breed is a meat goat, and therefore quite strong. They break things. They get out of their pen. Yet my dad loves tending to them. And there are some who reciprocate. Occasionally one will even seek him out for a nice ear scratch or a belly rub. Generally, these are the ones who are the most docile. My dad calls them "people goats."
There is always something, though, that even these "people goats" won’t submit on. When being treated for worms, the most domesticated doe will fight and kick because she doesn’t understand that this temporary struggle is for her own good. The males, they’re even worse.
It makes me ashamed, because I know that I behave like this. I know that when God wants me to submit, something will inevitably provoke me to fight. The one thing I refuse to submit on, that’s what God will require. Not because He’s just being provocative, but because He knows where I need healing the most. And that’s generally the same place I’m not willing to give in.
My stubbornness is never the problem. Something is always underlying that. Some pain I don’t want to experience again, or some issue I have with trust. There’s always a justification for the one thing I won’t let go. Ultimately, its a question of whether or not I want God’s life over my own? And there are some days the answer isn’t easy to come by. The hope is this: that no matter what my attitude might be from day to day, that I’m never willing to stop dealing with the question. I may kick and fight and struggle just like those goats, but in the end I have to learn to believe that God is always bringing me towards what’s best. Even when everything seems so dim.