Lenten Series: He Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills

As a little girl, I grew up on a farm in the “flats.” My grandpa lived at the foot of Marvin hill. My aunt, uncle, and four cousins lived in the “hills.” Though less than thirty miles separated us, the temperature in the flats was consistently five degrees higher than in the hills due to the change in elevation. (Good in the winter, not so great in the summer.)

While the communities were distinct, the trip in our 1963 pea-green Pontiac took twenty-five minutes. Any time from April until November, at least one pasture had cattle grazing near the roadway.

Whoever saw the cattle first began singing this chorus. Sometimes we’d finish it once and then see another pasture filled with cow/calf pairs and start all over again.

The belief that God is the owner of everything in the world was pushed deeply into my heart through the repetition of this chorus. During the lean years of starting our dairy farming operation in the high interest era of the 1980’s, this belief was tested when I went to the grocery store, when I paid the farm feed and veterinary bills, when our girls had to see the doctor for emergency care.

But over and over, God provided. And when we sold the cows and made a career change, God granted a positive outcome in the area of finance.

God has consistently proven that He is faithful even though I can stubbornly demand my own way.

“I know that He will care for me.”

He Owns the Cattle

By John W. Peterson

He owns the cattle on a thousand hills,The wealth in ev’ry mine;

He owns the rivers and the rocks and rills,The sun and stars that shine.

Wonderful riches, more than tongue can tell -He is my Father so they’re mine as well;

God owns the cattle on a thousand hills –  I know that He will care for me.


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