Speaking Of Life 2014 | Value of Connection
When I was growing up, one of my cousins had a horse named Sassy, and this horse lived up to her name. Sassy was stubborn and wouldn’t listen to most people. My cousin was an exception; because of their relationship and bond, Sassy would pay attention to my cousin’s subtle cues. Though I don’t personally have a lot of experience with horses, I’ve heard about people, like my cousin, who have owned a horse for years and developed a special bond. Once a rider has a special connection with a horse, she doesn’t have to rely on the bit and bridle to show the horse which way to go. A gentle pressure with the knee or a shift of weight to the one side tells the horse to turn or move a certain way. When the horse trusts the rider, it pays attention to these cues. There is a strong trusting bond between them.
Thinking about this connection between a horse and a rider reminds me of how God sometimes compared us to wayward horses or mules when we fail to pay attention:
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him” (Psalm 32:8-10, NIV).
God gives us the wisdom and support we need to move through life and its inherent suffering with peace and joy. When the scripture says, “Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him,” it could mean that when we aren’t paying attention to God’s active presence in us, we can feel weighed down by life’s difficulties. We can feel like the horse that is out of sync with its rider’s cues or a horse that doesn’t trust its rider.
On the other hand, when we are in relationship with God, we recognize there isn’t any difficulty we face where God isn’t right by our side. This enables us to approach life with love and peace. When we’re paying attention to God at work in us and through us, we feel the connection, and we are better prepared to move through the world. Just like the horse and rider, we know that we are being led by Someone bigger than us.
Because of the built relationship, we know we can trust our Abba Father to show us where to go. We can know we are loved. When we further cultivate that connection by paying attention to God’s presence, maybe through personal devotions or quiet time, we can feel the gentle nudges giving us the guidance we’re looking for.
Today may you know the nearness and gentleness of God, and may you pay attention to his gentle nudges.
I’m Michelle Fleming, Speaking of Life.