I have never written about anything spiritual before on my blog, but I read a devotional yesterday that really stuck with me. The devotional was meant to be applied to my spiritual life, but as I’ve found with all things concerning my walk with the Lord, it can also be applied to my horsey life. I recently decided to stop paying to have my younger horse, Kona, professionally ridden. I’ had come to the realization that I couldn’t just pay someone else to ride the horse for the rest of his life, and I needed to make a decision about whether to keep him or sell him. The simple fact is that he is not what I’m used to, not “my cup of tea. Before I saddled up I already had the assumption that we would not be a good fit together. I’m used to slow, lazy Hot Rod and Kona is young, athletic, and quick. To be honest, it kind of scared me to ride him. What if he moved too fast? What if I couldn’t keep up? What if I didn’t have the ability to continue his training? All these negative, fear-based thoughts plagued my mind. I’ve ridden him a handful of times now and this devotional really struck a cord with me concerning the fear and negativity I harbor with riding Kona.
The battle over our thoughts and fears is so strong, and without God’s help, we would never be able to get them under control in any area of life. Sarah Young, author of Jesus Calling, says it best, “Do not let your fear dissipate your energy. Instead, invest your energy in trusting Me and singing My Song.” Man, I know what it feels like to be crippled with fear, to let it take away all my energy. With His help, I can conquer these fears and become a better rider and a stronger believer in God.
One of the key verses used in the devotional was Isaiah 12:2,
“Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.
The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.”
We have no reason to fear because the maker of the universe is our strength. Young goes on to say, “Therefore, you need to be vigilant in guarding your thoughts. Do not despise this weakness in yourself, since I am using it to draw you closer to Me.” We need to be vigilant to notice where our thoughts are headed. When they start to go on a negative, fearful path we need to consciously decide to steer them back on track. I love that she says not to despise your weakness. In fact, He is glorified through our weakness! I trust that He will use this situation to increase my faith and create a deeper intimacy with the Lord. Sometimes struggles are just what we need! They create an immediate need for God to help us.
What does this mean in practical horsey terms? Well, besides putting my trust in the Lord, I enlisted the help of a friend. I told her how shaky I felt when I rode Kona. She gave me a lesson and we’re setting up future lessons to build my confidence and to teach me the skills I need to continue his training on my own. She reminded me that this was a great opportunity to grow as a rider. Funny, how it didn’t seem such a big deal when I admitted to the fear out loud and decided to put an end to the negative thoughts. What started out as a not-so-great ride this morning ended on such a great note:)