God has been teaching me about Himself through my horse, Lady, as I’ve learned to put her on a trailer. From her perspective, she has to go into a dark, enclosed box with no way out, and stay there. This is not something that feels safe for her so her stress level increases. Horses have a fight or flight instinct when it comes to perceived threats. They can learn to trust but never lose the instinct to run or fight.
There is great conflict on both our parts. She has to decide if she can trust me and I have to figure out how to resolve the conflict between us.
Back and forth out of the trailer, snorting, stomping, sighing, heavy breathing, and then…she puts two feet in. Back out for more prancing and stomping. Finally, she gets on the trailer and stands for a little time. We both breathe!
There is nothing that is going to hurt her. Actually, it is a safe place for her. She doesn’t see it as safe yet. I shut the door, she prances, then settles in, blowing through her nose (relieving stress), then moves into her place to be tied. I open the door and lead her off. That is just the first time she decides it’s ok to be there. We didn’t go anywhere, but she began to trust. The conflict is not totally resolved, but she was willing to face the conflict and work through it.
When we were done, a thought came to my mind—“That’s the way you are with Me.” Huh?
“My ways are not your ways. When something happens that you don’t like, you jump and yell and snort. You have to come to a decision if you’ll trust Me. You battle against Me, people, and yourself before you’ll settle into My will.
“Remember that man I gave you? Marriage is a trailer. The four children I gave you, another trailer. The scary times and uncertainty, another trailer—no way out, not to harm you, a safe/good place. Why the struggle?”
Then I read/heard in a devotional a few days later—He said, “You never need worry when you face a battle, you will always win if I am at the lead.” AAH! Just as Lady needed a leader, so do I.
My conflicts don’t look like Lady’s but I respond very similar to her: I fight or run and don’t deal with them. So God, do You figure out how to resolve my conflicts?
He answered through another devotion, “Yes, you win battles by standing in the power of truth and righteousness with firm-footed stability (confidence in God as my leader). You win your battles by skillfully wielding the sword of the Spirit which is My word (individual Scripture which the Spirit brings to your remembrance for use in time of need). My word is alive and full of power (in Heb. 4:12, the Word judges intentions).”
Just as Lady, who doesn’t understand words but actions, trusted me enough to go into the trailer, I have to learn to trust God’s actions. Lady had to learn to trust me as her leader in conflict and I have to learn to trust God to lead me. Lady decided to turn and face her conflict; I have to learn in trusting God, I can turn and face conflict and find the safe and good place God has for me. I didn’t put Lady in conflict to hurt her; it was to move her to a safe place. Does God do that for me too?