June 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm (christian Living, Animal stories) Edit
Tags: animal stories, christian Living, commentary on the christian life, devotional, encouragement, God's creation, praise and worship, relationship with Christ, trust, unconditional love
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love
This is my horse Mister grazing serenely under the apple tree's but there was a time when life for him was very different. I remember when he first came to our barn on trial as a lesson horse. He was a big horse over 16 hands high and his head hung down as he gazed through you rather than at you. His colour was dull and he looked like he had missed more than a few meals. My husband was the first to ride him and as he swung his weight up onto the saddle the horse became startled and spooked off across the arena nearly dumping Jim in the dust. I wasn't impressed. The next week I was not thrilled to see my name on the board to ride him. In fact our trainer had to spend the first 15 minutes of my lesson convincing me to get on him. I remember Mike saying, look last week he had just come in to the barn I have spent all week training and tuning him up just trust me. As I swung up into the saddle and gave him the cue to walk off my heart was in my throat. I knew what kind of punishment a horse of his size could dish out if he should choose to decide I was not to his liking. I had also been on enough school horses to know that it only takes the first 60 seconds for the horse to assess who is really the boss in this newly formed team. Taking a deep breath I forced myself to breathe and willed my tense body to relax as we approached what would be our first challenge as horse and rider. Down at the far end of the arena was a border lunging the beans out of a very young horse. For those unfamiliar with the term it involves a rider attaching a very long leash if you will onto the halter of the horse than using a lunge whip you direct the horse to first walk a circle around you first at a walk than at a trot than on to a canter. This procedure can allow a horse to warm up and expel pent-up energy before a rider has to get on and ride it. Sounds simple right, but to the untrained eye it can look like a horse gone wild especially when you get to the canter and the horse is kicking out and bucking like the horse Mister and I were approaching. Now when a horse is engaged in such a procedure it can inspire other horses around it to join in on the fun and that was exactly what I was afraid of. Not know what to expect from the horse underneath me I could feel him start to tense and speed up as we approached the other horse. I shortened my reigns slightly and reached down and gave him a pat that I hoped would inspire confidence and be interpreted as I think you're a good boy please walk on and don't kill me. Much to my surprise the horse responded to the affection given him by slowing his stride and simply walking by the wild west show as if he had seen nothing. I knew at that exact moment this was the horse for me. Now most people watching this scene unfold would miss the magnitude of the simple act of trust. Even I was unaware of what had transpired until a few weeks later when we extended an offer to purchase him and hired a vet to come out and make sure he was healthy. What should have been a routine inspection for the horse became a huge ordeal as Mister pranced and snorted at the end of a lead shank eyes rolling and flashing in terror as the vet approached. Try to hold him still Jen the vet ordered as he tried to get close to him. Gone was my mild manner gentleman who had responded to my gentle touch. In its place was an animal so tortured by fear that when the vet tech attempted to help me restrain him he fell on the ground kicking trying to strike out at anything that got close. Enough I said calling off the vet check. I just could not bare to see such fear on an animal's face. I did not have to guess what the vet would say next which was, I do not recommended that a beginner rider such as yourself buy a horse like this. It was also abundantly clear that someone along the way had beaten this horse into submission instead of training him making him damaged goods. After seeing how extreme his fearful reaction could be It was heartwarming to remember our first ride. When faced with a trainer cracking a lunge whip at another horse he could have dumped me to get out of harms way instead he responded to my kindness and encouragement and walked on by. It was this act of trust that convinced me that he could be rehabilitated if I could show , kindness and unconditional love even when he behaved badly. So began a year-long crusade to get him to trust me and in the end I have never had a more devoted and trustworthy horse. I learned to ride on him and then compete on him than train others to ride him.
Looking back over my life and my relationship with Christ I believe the Lord has shown me the same unconditional love that I extended to that horse. Beaten down in a sin stained world I had endured the body blows of life. Rejection, anger, hatred, abuse ,pride, loneliness, failure and fear had left me unfit for service in most people's eyes. But the Lord had other plans for me. He did not shout obscenities or deal out stiff punishments when I messed up. But with love and tender mercies He sets me on the right path. Patiently He trains me up in the way I should go all the while encouraging and rejoicing over me. The Lord knows that my failures are merely an event not a life sentence and He races to my side to comfort and restore me. When others can't be found or are cruel Jesus is the one person who is always there just waiting for me to turn to him. Oh how He loves to hear how much I need Him. If I stray to far from Him He will use situations or people to call me back to Him, but He does this to protect me not to harm me. So I keep in step with His plans . People who have matured in Christ understand that a God who loves us unconditionally is not a god to be feared but to be trusted, embraced and lifted high. Because the Lord's love for us is perfect, we can get rid of fear or cast it out, when it comes to Him because fear involves torment and that is not in character with who God is. God does not wait in the shadows for us to mess up so he can torment his children He loves us all no matter what we say or do in life, that fact never changes. I am starting to understand that when I have really blown it I should run to the Lord and confess it so He can put me back on the right track. I am learning that when my heart is broken by the events and people of this world I can turn to the Lord and find comfort from the pain . When I simply can't find a single person that understands me I can find companionship and comfort in Him. When my heart begins to harden in response to the injustice of this world I ask the Lord to show me how to forgive and love like He does. He always answers my sincere request. Calmly and with great patience the Lord follows me and waits for me to trust and need Him. He does not lie when He says his yoke is easy, all we have to do is first believe than call on His name and a better friend cannot be found
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a freelance writer and poet that writes poetry and commentary on my christian life. I live in northern Ont. on a small hobby farm with my husband and an assortment of dogs, cats,horses,donkey and goats. I write to glorify my savior.