One of the many hats that I’ve worn in my life is that of a horse trainer. Still tickled to think that I was allowed to work with these beautiful animals for so many years. The horse is majestic, emotional, powerful, graceful, intelligent and a lot of fun. They are hard work that never ends with daily feedings, grooming, keeping them shod, tack maintenance and repair and spending time riding or training them. But it is all worth it when the rider and horse function as one unit; whether in a race, in dressage or any of the other wonderful activities they can do together. The bible uses the term meekness to describe living for God. That word is a picture of a war horse yielded to his rider – not the typical idea that people think of when seeing the word. This relationship is not easy to come by (surprise, surprise), not for the horse and rider, not for us and God.
I worked with a horse in my younger years by the name of Waco (Way-ko – like the town in Texas). Many of the horses that I dealt with were around 14 hands tall (more of pony size) Waco, at 15.2 hands, was a true horse. He was fast and agile. He could jump and run forever. But Waco had a problem. He could not stand still. I quit doing many of the training exercises with him when it became apparent that this was an issue. You see a horse that can not be still is not yielded the two are not functioning as one unit.
I would stand him in the middle of the arena and give him no cues whatsoever. At first, he would just walk off and I would have to pull him back or move him in some way to the original position. Later, as my will asserted itself over him more and more, he would stomp and buck. He would thrash and flail his head around. He would become so infuriated with me that he would urinate torrents on the ground (probably where we get the colloquialism). Was I asking great things from him? Did I want something impossible? No, I just wanted a yielded heart. After time, he became more subtle. He would move a foot to the side or shift back a step. This was not acceptable either because I wanted his every movement to be dictated by me. His tantrums at this point could be amazing to behold but they soon diminished altogether.
I was never a perfect trainer. I could lose my temper as well as Waco could. Sometimes I would correct him when I had actually given him a cue to move. By our hearts became bound through the process. I became a better rider. He was certainly a better horse. And, for the elderly who might be listening in, Waco was about 17 years old at the time, way past “prime” training years. But, he still could learn.
God is the perfect trainer. He never expects anything of us that He doesn’t equip us for and walk through with us. He never loses His temper or acts rashly. He governs His every action with and through His perfect love. So why, when he asks me to wait, to stand still, do I not trust Him? Why, when He asks me to rest, do I argue and fret?
“Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10