[Competing with Horses]
Don’t bother telling me to get off my high horse; a determined beast took care of this years ago. I didn’t fall off, but it gave me a good fright.
I used to be obsessed with these “gentle giants” until one wasn’t a fan of the weather and took off for the barn with me hanging on for dear life. That changed my mind about horses quickly.
I did grow up with a black beauty, and a few other visiting equines, but these were friendlier ones back on the farm. The one in the picture above was named Perry. He belonged to our Landlord’s daughter who taught me all about riding and caring for these beautiful creatures.
My parents rented a house from a farmer who would grow potatoes one year and corn the next. When we moved away from the only home I’d ever known I missed those horses dearly. My dream was to own one. I was saving every penny, too. Knowing how much I yearned for a horse, my dad made plans to take me horseback riding. When the day arrived, however, it was grey and dreary. I didn’t care. Being sure that it would rain, my dad tried to convince me to reschedule, but my heart was set on the plan.
Dreams can die quickly when fear or doubt sets in, so that traumatizing beast was the demise of mine. I never did get back on the horse. When my determined ride reached its desired destination I declined a replacement and we went back home.
I lost my passion for horses (though I still think they’re beautiful beasts), however, my passion for my faith is still alive and well and there’s a Bible verse about competeing with horses that I still absolutey love.
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”Jeremiah 12:5
These are truly loving words that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet, but they meant that more trouble was coming Jeremiah’s way. That’s never the news you want to hear!
I get Jeremiah. I can relate to him, but I also get God as much as you can understand His ways. I do know that the picture is always so much bigger and that His ways are so much higher. I also know that He disciplines the ones He loves like any good parent would because it means strength. It’s for a child’s protection when a parent teaches their child to stand in the toughest of conditions. However, for Jeremiah it was also more than this. He was born to be a prophet for God so He needed to be steadfast to accomplish what God wanted to achieve with him.
This makes me think of one of my favorite quotes from “The Secret Garden.” Colin was doted on by his nurses to the point that he feared the thought of leaving his room. He believed he was too ill and too weak until someone came along and challenged those thoughts. I like that!
Not only does God do this for us, but we spur one another on as well. The Lord has bigger and better plans and He promises that we will find our strength in Jesus. We’re not always given physical health or strength, but God is willing to give us spiritual strength when we ask. Sometimes growth means that we’re required to go through some difficult times, but we know that peace comes after the pain.
“So long as Colin shut himself up in his room and thought only of his fears and weakness and his detestation of people who looked at him and reflected hourly on humps and early death, he was a hysterical, half crazy little hypochondriac who knew nothing of the sunshine and the spring, and also did not know that he could get well and stand upon his feet if he tried to do it. When new beautiful thoughts began to push out the old hideous ones, life began to come back to him, his blood ran healthily through his veins and strength poured into him like a flood. His scientific experiment was quite practical and simple and there was nothing weird about it at all. Much more surprising things can happen to anyone who, when a disagreeable or discouraged thought comes into mind, just has the sense to remember in time to push it out by putting in an agreeable, determinedly courageous one. Two things cannot be in one place. ‘Where you tend a rose, my lad, A thistle cannot grow.'”The Secret Garden