I think lions are pretty, too. I also enjoy movies that have talking lions, like Madagascar or The Lion King. Who didn't want to be best buds with Simba back in the day?
So are horses.
When I was a young warthog,(sorry, I'm still thinking about The Lion King)when I was a young girl, my sister
My sister was also super allergic to horses. Poor girl. I was convinced my parents would never let her have one. But somehow she managed to talk my parents into getting one (I'm not so sure how this deal went down; I was too young to know the intricate details, but I'm pretty sure there were some shady negotiations going on. I'm convinced this is the sole cause of my sister ratting me out for every wrong I committed over the next ten years).
One sunny day a truck pulled in our driveway and made its way back to our "barnyard" (I'll use that term loosely for lack of a better word). My brother, sister, and I watched in awe as the mysterious trailer was opened and a glorious creature emerged from its depths. Here was Bud (short for Budweiser. Keepin' it classy). Mom and Dad got a horse. It was kind of like that day my dad came home with 100 chickens. Or the time they brought home the Dalmatian from the SPCA (lasted a week. It was a bad dog. And deaf. But that's another story for another time). Looking back on my life, I'm starting to think my parents were more impulsive than I originally gave them credit for.
So here is Bud in all of his glory. Through my little girl eyes, he was a valiant steed; an untamed stallion waiting to catch me alone so he could trample my brains out. I was intrigued, yet terrified. It wasn't until years later that I realized how ridiculous I was. This horse was maybe five and a half feet tall. More a pony than a horse (I just wasted over an hour trying to find this picture of Bud with my brother and sister. My sister goes up to Bud's shoulder in it. And my brother's making a stupid face. It's a great photo. One day I'll find it and add it on). To me at the time he was a monster. I watched my back from then on when I had to enter our barnyard.
My sister, on the other hand, was in love. L-O-V-E love. She looked like a red headed Michael Jackson when she took him for a ride, with her surgical mask and gloves, she was so allergic. But she didn't care. She loved Bud.
I occasionally took a turn in the saddle as well, but always under my dad's supervision. I remember one particular day we were taking turns riding Bud in our front yard. I agreed to get on after telling my dad that he could not let go of the reigns under any circumstances. If the rapture took place at that moment, the horse would have been dragged along with us, because he was not going to let go.
I reluctantly climbed up on the horse and started my ride. My dad looked at me and said something along the lines of "You can do this without me" and let go of the reigns. Really? Really, Dad? I'm pretty sure I gave you precise instructions when we began this whole shenanigan.
Don't. Let. Go.
He let go.
I panicked. I yelled. I cried. I begged him to grab a hold of the reigns. I screamed hysterically.
Bud was not impressed. Not in the slightest. So, he took off. Towards the road. With me on him. I felt my life was in immediate danger, so I threw my hands up in the air in complete abandon.
Suddenly I felt something hard in my hands. I grabbed on for dear life. We were galloping under a tree and I had grabbed a hold of a branch. I slid off of that horse (pony) like butter off a hot roll. The horse kept going, and I hung like a limp rag doll (if rag dolls screamed hysterically for their daddy) from the tree. That poor little apple tree. Barely more than a sapling.
I didn't even have time to calculate my next move before I felt my dad's arms around me, helping me off the tree. Turns out he wasn't that far away after all. I wasn't thrilled with him for a while, but I soon got over the mishap. I wasn't very good at staying mad.
The lessons I've learned from this experience have stayed with me over the years. It's one of my favorite stories to relive because it's so ridiculous. It shows how much our reality is relative to our perspective.
If my dad told this same story it would sound completely different. He saw the real size of my object of fear. He knew that he was never far away and that I would be safe. I felt like my life was dangerously spinning out of control, and my dad was too far away to do anything to stop it. He was there to step in when I needed him.
I've realized how much we're affected by our perspective every day. How are we seeing things? We're in the thick of our personal battle, and we don't have the same perspective that God has. Sometimes I think He must wonder at how much we get tied up in knots by things that seem so small to Him. The things we fear or worry about that are like the itty bitty pony to Him. He sees the entire situation and knows He is in control. He knows that He's close enough to catch us when we need Him.
He needs us to trust Him. If I trusted my dad when he told me "you can do this" I wouldn't have panicked. If I didn't panic, the horse would have never spooked. Sometimes our lack of trust in God in a situation can cause us to make the situation way worse than it is.
We're sick from stress and worry. We're exhausted from sleepless nights. We fight with the ones we love because we don't know what to do with ourselves. We self-destruct. We turn a tense situation into a disaster.
Yet when we trust God, we have peace. We have quiet confidence. Not in ourselves, but in God, our faithful Creator.
He knows the "Buds" in your life. He sees your uncertainty. He knows that His Holy Spirit living in You can empower you to work through those fears. He's not going to leave your side. He's right with you during this journey.
He sees where you are and knows you are never out of His reach.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.Just like I cried out to my dad as I hung onto that branch for dear life, we can call out to God in our need.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"We are not slaves to our fear! We should not let our fear rule us. We have not received the spirit of slavery- why? because we are the beloved children of God. We cry out "Abba! Father!" "Daddy! Daddy!"
And He meets us there.