On breaking horses and following Jesus

I’m an ol’ farm boy from Western Montana… When I read certain passages of Scripture images from the ranch pop into my mind… Today, during “Coffee with the Lord” was one of those days!  Here is what the Bible says…

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go!  I will counsel you with my eye upon you.  Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle or it will not stay near you… Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord.  Be gad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.”  (From Psalm 32:8-11 ESV)

I don’t know if you’ve ever watch someone break a horse with a strong will or a mind of its own.  It can be risky business for the person working with the horse and it can be a difficult experience for the horse (check out the pic).  We used to have a saying on the farm… “A horse that can’t take a bridle is worthless!”  Breaking or training a horse requires carefulness, patience and skill!

But once trained – once broken – what a beautiful thing it can be!  For example, watching a well-trained cutting horse work is an awe-inspiring, magnificent thing to see.  The rider indicates to the horse which steer he or she wants cut out or separated from the herd, and the horse takes over.  If the horse is well trained the question really could be raised; who is in charge – the horse or the rider?  The horse knows what it needs to do and does it… And the slightest nudge or word by the rider is heeded.  An awesome sight to behold!  (Wish I could attach a video of it taking place!)

Oh, I want to be obedient and heed the voice of the Lord?  I don’t want to resist Him and behave like a self-willed, stubborn, wild animal!  The only one that gets hurt in that scenario is me!  “Many are the sorrows of the wicked!”  the passage says.  Instead, I want to learn to heed the slightest command of my “Heavenly Trainer”!  He promises to “Instruct me in the way I should go… to counsel me with His eye upon me!”  He says His, “steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in Him!”  Oh Lord, take the “wild” out of me and may I learn to be your obedient follower!

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