July 22, 2010 Horse Feet
Today I took our oldest to her first horsemanship lessons. She is so excited, and when we left she asked if she would get to ride one of the horses next time. I had the hard task of re-explaining that first she needed to learn about how to control the horse before she would be able to ride.
You see, her first lesson was all about learning the importance of respecting the horse but also teaching it limits. One of the things the teacher kept pointing out to the girls was that horses are fight or flight animals. Every moving creature has the potential to be a predator. Horses are skittish and distrusting. When they are frightened they run, and if they can’t run they kick. We, as people who move around, are like predators to the horse until they get to know us.
As I was thinking about on how to store this away in my mind I kept reflecting on a recent answered prayer for a friend of mine. We had been praying for her son, and suddenly one day he was healed. You can find her amazing story here.
Many times in life we are faced with a challenge that seems to impossible. We stare at our adversity in the face. Sometimes we are too scared to really look at it. Like a horse we are aware of its dark spooky presence. The presence of the unknown. The scariest of all boogeymen.
If we run we take the big chance that whatever “it” is will continue to chase us down. Then we’ll be eaten.
If we stay and fight, we still risk being defeated. We’ll be eaten up either way.
Where do I go when I feel I have no options and no hope? How can I ever get out of this mess?!
I most often turn to the book of Habakkuk in times like this. Habakkuk was a prophet to the nation of Judah before the fall of Jerusalem. All around him the city was in great trouble. Habakkuk’s biggest complaint was why would God let a horrible godless nation attack and defeat his own people.
He didn’t walk around telling everyone around him “God is good.” Instead what we see from Habakkuk are a lot of complaints. “How long must I call out to you, O LORD, but you do not listen.” (1:2) “Why do you tolerate wrong?” (1:3) “Justice is perverted.” 1:4 Not just once. Habakkuk continues to complain to God about his circumstance. In his honesty, he complains to God about why he sees this as an injustice.
Instead of turning his back on God though, Habakkuk stations himself to face God’s answer. What is interesting to me is that God doesn’t change his mind about what is happening. He doesn’t even explain to Habakkuk why a “wicked nation” is defeating Judah. Instead the only answer Habakkuk gets is that 1. God is going to use the ruthless Babylonians to judge Judah and 2. God is alone God and idols are worthless.
Habakkuk closes out his writing with his prayer. First he acknowledges the greatness of God in past events. I can find assurance in my God by remembering the things and times that he has done mighty actions in my life and also in the lives of others around me.
Secondly, even in terrible heartache, God is not out of control. Habakkuk knew that God would continue to be the same. In time it would come together for the better.
I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled.
Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us.
Even though everything can seem like it is going completely wrong, we can have hope. Sometimes life fails us, but God does not. We don’t have to be like the horse that is spooked and scared by every moving object. Instead we have this assurance:
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights