I stood looking at the chestnut horse,
And wondered how we got back to this place.
How we had come so far to fall back even further.
My heart is heavy as I look at this beautiful horse and realize I may not be able to help him.
I don’t understand how he keeps falling back to this pattern,
How he keeps falling back to these destructive ways.
Why he keeps letting fear or old habits bring him back to doing the things I’ve worked so hard to save him from.
Aren’t the ways I’ve brought him to come to see better than this?
Isn’t he happier when it’s easier for him?
And as I stand looking at him,
I felt the Lord speak quietly to my heart.
“Now you understand my heart for you.”
That humbled me, it also weighed my heart down.
How did I get to this point?
How have I become so tired, so weary and holding so much on my shoulders?
This little horse taught me a lot about redemption and grace early on.
That the Lord can redeem us from our brokenness and old ways,
That He is patient with us as we work through our issues and fears.
The He renews our minds and leads us down a straight path.
And I questioned that when Yogi started acting up again,
What about grace Lord? What about redemption? What about you redeeming us?
He’s gone back to his old ways, what does that mean for people like me who have been redeemed from much?
And now it makes sense.
It is far too easy for us to lose sight of all that we have been redeemed from and go back to old habits, old patterns and let the same fears creep back in.
Being redeemed and made new in Christ isn’t a one time fix all thing, it is a constant walk, a continual choice to choose Him rather than the life which I came from. It is a fight to be a woman of Him rather than conform to the ways of the world.
That is why there is so much in the Bible about remaining firm in faith, arming ourselves in His Armour, fixing our eyes on Him, to go through trails with joy, to not lose sight of the joy of salvation.
For although we have come to know the love of Our Father, we can still fall back, forgetting all that He has saved us from.
If we do not remain seeking in Him, reading His Word and letting Him in areas of our lives – especially the ones we try to control ourselves – we begin to retreat to old ways, losing sight of who He is. A Father of deep deep love, of grace, of redemption, of forgiveness and of mercy.
I couldn’t imagine how heavy our Fathers heart is when He looks at me and see’s me running back to old habits or ways.
When I forget to come to Him with all things or that I lose sight of all that He has done for me.
But I have somewhat of a glimpse as I look at this beautiful yet broken horse.
And feel the heaviness on my heart where I have seen him making such good progress, see him coming into his purpose and beautifully working out – to quickly turning back. And that breaks my heart, because there is so much hope for him – yet it’s like he can’t see it.
I know Yogi is just a horse and it seems like I’m reading into this a little too much but sometimes the Lord uses things like the horses I work with to show me my own heart. They are lessons that I sometimes have to learn the hard way because I’m too stubborn sometimes to just listen rather than being shown.
For despite the fact that he’s just a horse, for us it’s real.
Well for me anyways it is something I go through and it is a conscious effort to keep my eyes fixed on the Lord,
To be aware when I feel myself turning back to what He redeemed me from and choose Him over and over again.
To be courageous in the midst of challenges to step out and choose to remain firm in the foundation He has placed me in,
Rather than deciding to no longer remain faithful to the One who is forever faithful.
It is easy to lose sight of the joy of salvation or to forget our first love.
But that’s what faith is – it isn’t always a feeling, a fiery passion or overwhelming joy,
Most of the time it is a quiet voice, a gentle push or reminder of the truth –
That you are made new through Christ and you are no longer who you were,
You were made new and are set free from your old ways and habits.
Now we have something better to go too when dealing with our issues rather than running back to old ways to cope with the things we are working through.
Because lets face it, none of us are perfect.
We are full of flaws and insecurities,
We struggle, we fail and we let ourselves down.
We let others down.
But we are also able to get back up and move forward.
We are able to look to Jesus and keep walking towards Him.
We are able to run to Him to find refugee,
To have light shone in our darkness and see a better way.
To have hope that we are not alone and to seek those in our lives to talk too, listen too and allow into our lives to not struggle alone.
We are able to succeed in life.
We are able to do beautiful things.
But it is a choice we have to make and decide to follow through with despite the cost.
So as I look at this broken horse, I can see myself.
I can see that it is far too easy for me to go back to old ways even when He has shown me His goodness.
And I’m thankful to have seen this.
I am thankful that the Lord uses something like a horse to show me my stubbornness and ways.
I’m thankful that I have been redeemed and am set free.
I am thankful that even in hard times, in tiring times, in challenges, that I can look to Him and fight the good fight.
That I can remain firm in the foundation He has rooted me in and walk towards Him,
Rather than running back to my old self, and if I’m being honest, where I tend to want to go most of the time when things get hard. Because it seems easy at the time, it seems like the quickest way out – but then I’m reminded quick fixes don’t heal, they break. They only put a band-aid over what needs stitches.
Sometimes going to the King of kings is harder as it brings to light our issues that we can no longer hide from, but I know that it is freeing. I know that He is tender and kind. I know that He loves me and that He loves you. That in His presence there is freedom. That in Him there is healing from our brokenness. And the things that I use to run too only bring momentary numbness but afterwards, shame and regret. They don’t make my brokenness go away, they enlarge it.
Because there is no life in the ways I use to handle things, there is no joy in hiding, there is no peace when I am constantly running.
But there is peace in Him, there is courage in not retreating and there is joy in letting His light shine into our darkness.
I’m not sure if Yogi will ever get better or if I am the person that can help work him through his issues.
But for me, I know the One who can help me through mine and I will go to Him rather than do what Yogi has done.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”