After being out in the freezing rain feeding the horses, it was nice to spend the afternoon inside where it was warm. Picking up where I left off when I ran to help RJ, I continued working on the computer trying to get caught up. But God’s nudges kept interrupting me. So I shut everything down and focused on His nudges.
The Lord seemed to be asking me why I stood in the freezing wind and sleet in the middle of seven 1,500-2,000 pound horses to protect my horse. I answered honestly, “Because the other horses would have pushed him away from his food and eaten it themselves. I stood in the gap for him. Not only did I provide the food, I protected him so that he could eat in peace.”
Thoughts of the word study I had finished earlier on protect, guard, safeguard, safe, safely, and safety in the original Greek and Hebrew flashed through my mind. “Stay here with me, and don’t be afraid. I will protect you with my own life…” (1Samuel 22:23 NLT). “The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to Him and are safe” (Proverbs 18:10 NLT). “The orchards and fields of My people will yield bumper crops, and everyone will live in safety. When I have broken their chains of slavery and rescued them from those who enslaved them, then they will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 34:27 NLT). “…all who listen to Me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm” (Proverbs 1:33 NLT). “Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety” (Job 11:18 NLT). “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe” (Psalm 4:8 NLT). I remembered the peace that filled my heart as I went from one verse to another in my study. I wondered if for some reason the Lord wanted to remind me of His faithfulness to protect me from the ravages of this world.
Maybe my Heavenly Father wanted to prepare me for some upcoming challenge (I call them opportunities to show the world who is in control of my life). As I was processing the Truths from God’s Word and wondering what God might be up to, He seemed to draw me back to the experience of feeding the horses in the freezing rain. I sat silently, waiting for whatever He might want to say to me. Then He seemed to say, “Why did you choose to stand in the freezing wind and sleet in the middle of seven very large horses to protect your horse?” Not wanting to be flippant and say I’ve already answered that question, I quietly examined my heart trying to figure out what God was trying to teach me.
Finally, God broke the silence (He knew I wasn’t getting close to the correct answer) and asked, “Why did you stand there for the paint horse?” A few moments of silence, then He continued, “Would you have stood there in the sleet for the others horses?” I knew the answers to both questions and replied, “The paint is my horse. And I would not have stood out there shivering and icicles on my jacket for the other horses.”
God said, “Don’t all the horses belong to you?” “Well, technically they all belong to us, but the paint is my personal horse” I replied. And before I could take another breath, God asked, “What makes the paint your horse?”
I thought about the question for a moment and answered, “The first time I saw him and approached him, he came to me. He watches for me and comes to me before I even call him. If I tell him to stop, he stops. He obeys me. He stands beside me and rests his head on my shoulder. We have a relationship…and I love him.”
God commented (and I think He must have had a twinkle in His eye), “So you are willing to stand in the freezing rain to provide and protect your horse because you love that horse of yoursï¿½because he obeys you, seeks you, is alert to your commands, and willingly follows you around.” And I nodded my head “yes.”
“Child, I love you so much more than you love that horse. I love you even when you don’t obey me, even when you make mistakes, even when you don’t deserve it. I even love you when you ignore Me. In fact, I love you so much I sent my only Son to die for all the wrong things you’ve done (John 3:16). I did for you what no one else could do for you. My sinless Son suffered and died as a sacrifice for your sins. That’s how much I love you! That’s why I promise to provide for you…and to protect you!” “This is real loveï¿½not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10 NLT).
Silence…and I didn’t have the nerve to say a word, but the tears slowly slid down my cheeks. How often do we forget how much our relationship with God cost Him. We take for granted that He loves us and we b-bop along on our merry way ignoring Him, thinking only of ourselves and our agendas.
It’s my prayer that in this month of ï¿½expressions of love’ that you’ll be alert to God’s nudges. That you’ll choose to be lovingly obedient to every little thing He suggests. That others will recognize His love in you and be pointed to Jesus. Andï¿½ultimatelyï¿½you will become one who shares His love with others.
I’m praying for you,
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