As many young girls are, I was smitten with horses at a young age. Our neighbors had horses, one of which was a beautiful little paint they purchased from a family friend of ours. I never got over feeling like that pony was really suppose to be mine. ha. But it never was, and that’s okay. We also lived in an area where we were around a lot of rodeos, cuttings, reinings, and all types of horse show events. The sights, sounds, smells, and atmosphere produced a great longing in me to be a part of that world someday. However, that longing would not be fulfilled until much later in life. As a matter of fact, the story continues to unfold with each new day. Unfortunately as a young person, I was never able to have horses of my own. So, imagine my delight when our young daughter began showing an interest and desire to begin riding! She began official english riding lessons at age 5 which began breathing new life and longing into my own life. Our own personal version of a ‘Road to the Horse’ challenge was filled with steps and leaps of faith with each decision to purchase our first horse, then a new horse, and another, and another…. There is the decision to train and show, or just casually own, ride and enjoy. Then of course, there is much to know in the area of care and mainenance. If you are a horseman, you realize there is much to know and be aware of in that department as well. All in all, my life with horses is an ever-learning experience. Kind of like Paul says in Ph. 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Now, that has it’s own meaning that I embrace on a deeply spiritual level, however, I also attribute it to my journey with horses as well. There is still much to learn and improve on, but we’re getting there, and that fills my heart and life with incomprehensible joy.
Recently, as I finished up feeding, the sun was painting a beautiful sunset just above the treetops, the weather was amazing, the grass still has a shade of green, and life at that moment was absolutely surreal, as it so often is, and it hit me…..
Now, I had also recently been reading through some old journals from several years back when the horse bug began to come alive again. Being married to a ‘non-horsey’ husband, and being a stay-at-home mom, well… it took some serious praying and miracle believing to get him on board. As a matter of fact, I remember vividly praying and begging God at one point to take the passion and longing for the horses out of me because it was just too painful and distracting to want something so badly and still not be able to have it. During that time, we were heavily involved with our church and the many activities therewith. At that time, I had been teaching in the Youth Group, I worked in the church office, began our church’s Women’s Ministry which included carrying many of our ladies to Women of Faith conferences, taught several Bible Studies, had regular prayer meetings with a small but power-packed group of ladies…. All that to say, Jesus Christ was (and is) the focus and delight of my life at the core of my being. My heart’s cry was similar to the Apostle Paul’s…. “Lord, pour me out as a drink offering for you….” I couldn’t get enough of the Word, of Worship, of deeper and deeper prayer times and ministry, and a desire to not live for me, but for Him. Through that time life, as it so often does, would throw a curve ball, or two, or three. Situations change, circumstances change, we go with the flow, make the best choices possible, and believe all will be well. There are times we simply walk by faith, not by sight. And things did begin changing. As a matter of fact, life has changed quite a bit since that time. There is much I could share regarding the years in between, but for the sake of this story, I will fast-forward a few years to today…
Today, we own 5 amazing AQHA quarter horses, horses that carry the blood of the top champions in the western pleasure and reining world today. Horses I never dreamt I would have the opportunity to own. Now,… I do not share this information in any way, shape, or form with a boastful heart…. To the contrary, I share this to solidify my point and testimony…. What hit me between the eyes and deep in the heart that beautiful evening was that glorious little verse found in a power-packed chapter of Psalm 37:4, ‘Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Wow. As that verse hit me, and as I stood there looking at all the pretty horses eating so peacefully, I was utterly humbled at the goodness and faithfulness of God to me personally. He blesses in so many different ways, but this was a very personal gift that spoke volumes to my heart. A blessing that I still am amazed and humbled at getting to be a part of. Now I must clarify, this story is focused on my personal love and passion for horses, but it applies to so very much more in my life that I am so thankful for. Namely my husband, kids, parents, family, friends, provision, health, and on, and on, and on. 🙂 The blessings truly never cease.
Sometimes life gets busy, we get distracted, forget to truly Abide in His Word, in His presence, in His Worship, and we begin to forget and doubt…. We may begin to wonder if God is really out there somewhere…. were we dreaming? We wonder if He really even knows we exists, much less does He care? Well, I am here to assure you and promise you with everything in me…. when we press in and seek Him with a pure and hungry heart…. God shows up as only He can. He never moves from us… that is our doing. We are the one’s who pull away and distance ourselves. He is always there, ready and waiting to scoop us up in His arms again and again. Beloved, you are the apple of His eye, and He is so beyond crazy about you. When life makes the Cross grow dim, let your light of love for Christ shine through the darkness. Dive into the Word, and fall on your knees…. it’s only a matter of time before you feel and hear that still small voice whisper in your heart to tell you of His amazing love for you.
Lord, I pray your presence and your love will be felt in the hearts of those reading these words. I pray your hedge of protection, provision, healing, and amazing love to cover them and their families completely today and every day. Draw them closer to you Lord, and set them ablaze as a testimony of your love and faithfulness to your children. In Christ’s name, amen.
A Psalm of David
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil
or be envious of those who do wrong;
2 for like the grass they will soon wither,
like green plants they will soon die away.
3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:
6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
7 Be still before the LORD
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For those who are evil will be destroyed,
but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.
10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look for them, they will not be found.
11 But the meek will inherit the land
and enjoy peace and prosperity.
12 The wicked plot against the righteous
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
14 The wicked draw the sword
and bend the bow
to bring down the poor and needy,
to slay those whose ways are upright.
15 But their swords will pierce their own hearts,
and their bows will be broken.
16 Better the little that the righteous have
than the wealth of many wicked;
17 for the power of the wicked will be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.
18 The blameless spend their days under the LORD’s care,
and their inheritance will endure forever.
19 In times of disaster they will not wither;
in days of famine they will enjoy plenty.
20 But the wicked will perish:
Though the LORD’s enemies are like the flowers of the field,
they will be consumed, they will go up in smoke.
21 The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the LORD blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed.
23 The LORD makes firm the steps
of the one who delights in him;
24 though he may stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
25 I was young and now I am old,
yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.[b]
27 Turn from evil and do good;
then you will dwell in the land forever.
28 For the LORD loves the just
and will not forsake his faithful ones.
Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed[c];
the offspring of the wicked will perish.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
and dwell in it forever.
30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak what is just.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their feet do not slip.
32 The wicked lie in wait for the righteous,
intent on putting them to death;
33 but the LORD will not leave them in the power of the wicked
or let them be condemned when brought to trial.
34 Hope in the LORD
and keep his way.
He will exalt you to inherit the land;
when the wicked are destroyed, you will see it.
35 I have seen a wicked and ruthless man
flourishing like a luxuriant native tree,
36 but he soon passed away and was no more;
though I looked for him, he could not be found.
39 The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.