A Yearling's Reminder
A Yearling's Reminder -
Learning Holiness from a Horse
"I will follow You wherever You go."
Not long ago, I was working with a favorite little yearling colt, when he kicked me.
This little guy and I have been together for about a year now - ever since the day he was weaned from his momma. He trusts me, and I trust him. He will follow me anywhere - even into dark nooks and crannies of the barn - and even past loud, scary farm machinery.
However, on this occasion, somehow it was different. I was grooming him in a stall that was not his own home - when a scary old stallion stuck his head through the bars of the neighboring stall and snarled at him. The big stud just pinned his ears back and growled. (OK, I know horses don't really growl, but that's how it sounded.)
My little friend nearly jumped out of his skin. Usually, I can anticipate him quite well. Horses communicate largely through body language. But this time, I was leaning underneath him, brushing burrs off his belly. I didn't notice his eyes growing wide and surprised.
Frightened, he suddenly kicked out -- and my upper leg caught his reaction. I have a lovely colorful bruise - the size of a Major League baseball - to remember this occasion.
I did have to get after him a bit - to teach him not to repeat this dangerous behavior. Even so, within moments, I was brushing and hugging and speaking soothing words to him again. ("That's my good boy. Who's my handsome little horsey? What a special colt you are.") I can really be quite silly about this guy.
What does this have to do with faith?
The incident made me think about how God loves us. How many times - a day - do we suddenly get startled by something that happens to us and kick out, even at the One who protects us?
That night, I looked at the technicolor contusion, as it spread across my thigh. I thought about Jesus, who was bruised for our iniquities - our sins. The bruised stripes on His back led to our healing from the effects of sin and death. (See Isaiah 53:4-5.)
Even as we were bruising Him, He was calling out to His Father - our Father - on our behalf. "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." (See Luke 23:34.)
How right He was!
Most of the time, we really don't know what we are doing.
My little horse will always be a horse. Sure, I can work with him - I can train him and teach him, and he will learn to trust and obey me. But he will still be a horse, and I must always remember that he could (at anytime) react just like a horse. He simply can't help it. It's his nature.
I carry a nature too - my human nature. Like Paul, I do not always do what I know I should do. (See Romans 7:7-25.) Instead, I sometimes revert to my old sin nature - the one that Jesus nailed to the cross. But, when I do fail Him, He calls me back, and He picks me up, and He reminds me that I still belong to Him. He reassures me and tells me again that He loves me and I can trust Him.
That's how God feels about me - and that's how He feels about you!
And when we let Him lead us - when we trust Him - He will lead us beside quiet waters and comfort and guide and feed and sustain us! (See Psalm 23.)
For He loves us with an everlasting love - He doesn't drag us along with a nasty rope, but He draws us with gentle cords of love. (See Jeremiah 31:3.)
We can cast all our cares upon Him, for He cares for us. (See 1 Peter 5:7.)
Looking back, I realized something. If this little paint colt could trust and follow me, with all my questions, then surely I should be able to trust the all-knowing Creator!
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