Trust, horses and us.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” 

Proverbs 3:5-6 

For years, this verse graced the bottom of every birthday, Christmas card and letter my mom sent me.  I would read it nonchalantly and move on.  Rarely, did I sit and meditate on its deep meaning or why it was such a special verse to her.  It was her life verse. Throughout her life she experienced trial, trauma and suffering. Jesus rescued her through those things, holding her heart in His hands and bringing her to trust Him. She came to know first hand what it was like to stare down the path of the great unknown and traverse it holding the hand of her Savior. Not perfectly, she was human and had human concerns, but she took hold, held tight, and walked on. 

Trust. I’ve wrestled with it.  I’m sure you’ve wrestled with it at times too. Especially if you have had trust betrayed or had difficult experiences with those you’ve given trust to. 

 We recently got a new horse at the farm. It takes time for a new horse to settle in, and the more I observed this newer horse, the more I realized she had some ‘trust issues’. First, she didn't know me. It's hard to trust someone you don't really know- right? "Trust issues" are what horse people call it when a horse doesn’t warm up to you and trust that what you are asking them to do has their best interest at heart. (Can you see the spiritual parallel coming?) 

This can stem from a lot of different circumstances. Sometimes, if a horse is the only horse on a property and the owner doesn’t spend much time together, the horse becomes hardened and self-sufficient. Horses are herd animals. Most of them need other horses to feel safe and relaxed. The alpha, or boss horse, protects and directs the herd. Horses often will be ok alone, as long as they have a person who is actively their ‘herd’. Another reason for trust issues is perhaps there has been some mistreatment, or even abuse in the past. Once you’ve been hurt wrongfully it’s hard not to duck when something is coming to bop you in the head.  Good to say, this horse is warming up beautifully and learning that we love her and are trustworthy. Though, this isn't always the case with every horse.

We aren’t much different. When people hurt us, it’s difficult, if not impossible to trust again. 

I have struggled terribly to be able to trust men in my life. Abuse, abandonment, adultery and divorce have crippled my ability to trust immediately, I walk with a gimp in this area. Especially if I’m not leaning fully into the One I can trust, God. 

This trust issue often we wrongfully transfer to God. We place on Him the characteristics of those who have hurt us, betrayed us, and have broken our trust. We buy the lie that He is just like everyone else.  But He’s not.  

If we dive into His word, we see that He not only is Trust worthy and faithful, He’s the God of second and eighteenth chances! Check out the story of His people the Israelites! Whoa! If we aren’t a carbon copy of them most days! Yet He loves, showers mercy, and still longs to teach them and bring them back to Himself. Not for His best and good… but for theirs… and ours.  

So, when life doesn’t make sense, when you don’t get what God is up to- Trust with ALL your heart. His ways are not ours and His understanding is not ours… Trust that HE has your BEST as His primary concern, and what your enemy perhaps has planned for evil- HE WILL use for your good. I promise, He will direct your path as you lean into Him, our most trustworthy and loving God. 

Father God, 

Drive me deeper into trusting you. Give me eyes to see your power and how I can rest because of Who you are. Reveal to me the Truth about these things. I want more of you God.  In every breath.  Grow our relationship, for I know it is difficult to fully trust someone we don’t know… and God, I want to know you to my depths. 

In Jesus Name, Amen.