Some years back my friends and I rented horses. I’ve always been nervous on a horse and I guess they know it because they don’t like me much.
We were trotting in the wooded areas of Loxahatchee, Florida. For those who don’t know, that’s west of Palm Beach. Anyway, we were trotting alongside a wooden fence that ran down the side of a canal. I had been bringing up the rear and quite happy with the speed and position.
For some reason, my horse decided he liked to run. He wasn’t satisfied with a simple trot. I was more than satisfied with trotting, but he didn’t care what I thought. Our trot turned into a gallop – and gallop – and gallop!
I screamed, “Stop horsey stop!” I started using the strap they gave me with a feather stick to get him to slow down, but that didn’t make a dent in the gallop! And before I knew, we went from a gallop to whatever jockeys call FAST. I held on for dear life. True story.
I had now passed my party and was headed right for a wooden fence up ahead that blocked you from going into the canal. My options were to jump off, well, fall off as there wouldn’t be anything graceful at full speed. I could choose to stay on and hope he would stop. There’s always the wishful option of staying on to ride to the fence, jump like a champion horse, land with gracefulness, and eventually dump in the canal. And lastly, there was the option of riding through the fence.
I don’t know what happened, but all of a sudden my horse slowed down, reared up on his two back legs, spun around and made an abrupt turn, stage right and immediately took me to the fence that we had been riding next to. This is where I decided my horse was possessed and I had stayed on too long, so I bailed. Forget all the options no longer available.
The horse was much happier now that he had my lard bottom off his back. There he stood casually eating grass as if nothing happened. I, on the other hand, needed to change my pants. There was no riding him back to the stables. I walked him all the way back, with my friends riding alongside.
I was reminded of how sometimes we can be as stubborn as a horse. We will do what we want to do, and we will sometimes run on ahead of God, thinking we know better than He. He calls our name and we ignore him. And it’s when we see a dead-end, or we see trouble ahead, that we stop suddenly, rear up and dump the rider. And then we act as if nothing happened. God comes along, grabs our bit, and walks us back to the stable to try again. The whole way back He doesn’t scold us, but lovingly walks us back, loving on us the whole way.
Psalms 136:26, “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his loyal love endures!”
Father, I thank you for sparing my life that day. It could have turned out much worse. Thank you for leading and loving me despite my running ahead of you. I pray Lord that if anyone is on a fast horse going in the wrong direction, they will turn back and hear your voice. In Jesus name, Amen.
In His Service
Jeanette Duby, The Teaching Lady
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