Proverbs 14:4 Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.
Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty - There’s no need to produce or purchase food for it. And there is no need to keep a stall clean that doesn’t have an animal living in it. It just doesn’t get dirty. So there’s no loss of income or expenditure of labor.
But the ox makes man’s life easier by its toil. And although an ox makes a stall dirty, his dirt can be used to fertilize the land and so produce an even greater yield!
So the mess and expense are worth it.
I guess what I’m really thinking is that life is messy! And messy is good! If we keep our lives tied tightly up, neat and proper, never disturbing the water, never muddying the stall, then we stagnate.
Part of living a faith filled life is learning to take chances, go out on that limb, be willing to deal with the mess of what comes from stepping out in faith.
Maybe you’ll think, “but I don’t want an ox! I can’t afford one and I don’t want to deal with the mess of an animal that’s not house trained and needs to be fed every morning and every evening, who needs to be led to water, who’s as dumb as a stump and who I have to clean up after, after I’m done cleaning up after my family!”
(This is, of course, all proverbial.)
But! The labor that the ox provides means a larger yield, a better investment, greater provision! And in the farming way of life, nothing goes to waste! Especially waste!
So… life is messy! Clean it up! Be willing to take a chance at doing something that seems hard and different. Jesus lets us know what he requires of us. His plans are perfect. If he’s put an ox in your stall then it’s because he wants you to plow, to invest in his kingdom, to work hard and reap the benefit.