It has been my experience that people generally find what they are looking for. As a Christian, I naturally look for God’s provision and promises in everyday life.

  I recently heard a sermon at my church based on the book of Isaiah 61: verses 1-3. In these verses God gives promises to His people that are what as known as promises of “displacement.” As an example: in verse 3 He says that He will give the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. It occurred to me that in order to see God work in our lives, we must first experience some type of need.
  Mourning and despair are unpleasant emotions that we can be rescued from with God’s help. That is, if we are looking for it and have faith that God will provide. Those who look for success and happiness generally find it. However, wishing it to be so and looking for it doesn’t mean that it will immediately happen. In fact, many times I have found it to be just the opposite. As an example; when I am low on money, I get the biggest vet bill or some other bill. God always comes through just not in the way or the time that I expect. When I need patience, I am usually confronted with something that really tries my patience. In my own life I am coming to the conclusion that some type of difficulty usually precedes some type of blessing. The blessing is bigger than the difficulty. There are times though that the blessing arrived just in time and just when I needed it.
  Last Labor Day I had an experience that I will never forget. I will forever call it the “Miracle at Mckinleyville.” McKinleyville Rodeo Association was having an end of season 3-day event. On the Saturday of the event, I was at a close friend’s wedding. On Sunday I showed up for one of the ropings and made high team but couldn’t get the last one dallied. Later that evening it was revealed to me that my closest competition for the year-end title in my division and region had won everything that weekend and was closing fast. I didn’t sleep well that night.
  Of course, I had to show up Monday for the last day and the last chance. Honestly, I had a pretty good lead but if my competition won and I didn’t place, things did not look near as convincing. I got up a little earlier than usual. I practiced on the roping dummy a little and gathered up my horse. I went inside to tell my wife, Jo Anna, that I was leaving and she suggested that we pray. I don’t ever recall us praying before a roping before. Her prayer was passionate and emphatic. She told God that it would be a disaster to get beat on the last day after all of the hard work and humbly asked for favor in the roping. It was a great prayer!
  I showed up and entered up. I had never done very well at this arena in all the years that I had competed there. I was offered a star run with the best heeler there, Adam Fitze. He is an ACTRA #5 and I was a #1. We were roping in a straight 6 with no handicap. It was a barrel roping so I didn’t have to worry about a barrier. Things were looking pretty good. The first steer that we drew looked familiar. He was the same steer that Adam and I drew the day before and he was a pup. Adam quickly pointed that out just before I nodded. Yep, he was easy and Adam got him at the corner. The second steer that we had I didn’t know. He proved to be pretty easy to rope but started to drag some in the corner. No problem for my big grey horse who quickly dragged him up so that Adam could two foot him. We were 14 seconds on two and were high call and last team out. I will always remember that little red steer with the pointy horns. He was a pup as well! Three pups in a row! I have never had that happen. It was our fastest run at 6.88. We roped three in 20.88 and won. They were flaggin on the heeler so that made it a little faster but I think that it might be awhile (if ever) before I get three roped that fast again.
  This is what I remember and dwell on when I am not roping very well like this Spring. It is what I “look for” to happen. I believe that what I look for I will find. It is not so much positive thinking as it is positive faith. I have often been critical of people that have what I call “agenda driven thinking.” They just look for things that will support their preconceived ideas that they have and don’t look at other points of view. Well, I have to admit, I have “agenda driven thinking.” My agenda is that I fully believe that God is for me and not against me and that all things are working together for good. It is not only scripture based but my experiences in life have confirmed it repeatedly. There is a benefit to being 72 years old. By this time, I have seen a lot of life and had a lot of experiences. It isn’t just some theory if you have lived it. Please remember though; just because I write about this topic doesn’t mean that I have it mastered. I struggle in trials and tribulations and my faith does waver from time to time.
  That’s it. Keep looking for the best that God has for you. He wants you to know Him. Rope great and have fun!

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Bob Ow lives in Ferndale, California on the northern coast. He and his wife Jo Anna,  own a small 5 acre ranch and two really good rope horses. Bob is an independent financial advisor (which pays for his roping expenses), and an elder at a Ferndale Community Church.

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