“Walk by faith, not by sight” is what I read in my devotional this morning (2Co5:7). What does this mean? I often get impatient or too frustrated to wait for anything. How does one walk by faith? Can I really walk with my head bowed down behind God, trusting him for my direction? I am like a horse being led by its master. The master is aware that the horse may have its own ideas about what it wants to do and may act upon this at any time. In rebellion, the horse may pull away and the master might be forced to let go. Once trust is established, the horse will learn that the master is going to lead them in good ways. If the horse just follows the master, they will go places, see things, and have a good time together. But, this takes obedience and a step of faith. The horse and the master do not speak the same language, so the horse does not understand everything the master is doing. Over time, the horse and master will forge a bond and they will learn a new language that doesn’t require words. This is trust, this is love.
So can I just let God take me by the hand and lead me into the unknown? The answer is yes! I may fight him every once in a while, but he is oh so patient with me. Sometimes, I resemble a mule more than a horse! He is a caring, loving master. He can look deep into my soul and see all of the possibilities.
The “Message” version of 2 Corinthians 5:7 says: It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going.
1Co 13:12 (NIV) for now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
When I started helping out at the Ranch of Hope a few years back, I was filling a need and trying to help out some family members. What I didn’t know was that God had ahold of me. I was going to get way more out of the ranch than I realized. Seeing the joy that the kids felt by being around horses reminded me about how God always provides beauty to us through his created world.
Isa 61:3 says that God will comfort us with a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
The ranch had some challenges in 2011 and we were not able to run the ranch last summer. I had major back surgery, several of our main staff was unable to help anymore, and in my mind the ranch probably wasn’t going to keep going. WE had problems with not enough volunteers and not enough horses. How could we overcome all the challenges that we faced? I pretty much gave up because I knew it was too much for me to handle physically and mentally. Through a series of things that happened in February and March, I knew that God wasn’t done with me yet, or with the ranch. I fought God a little bit because I knew for a fact that I had no business thinking that I could do this. How could I be so silly? Of course I couldn’t, but God could. HE is my strength and HE is my salvation.
Isa 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
So here we are, taking steps to let God be the center of everything that happens at the ranch. This ranch is meant to be a retreat for children to learn about God and learn about horses. I think it is also a retreat for the adults also, a way to stop the running around to appreciate the beauty that God gives us in a horse, in a child, in the sunshine and wildflowers. WE are blessed far more than we deserve and let us thank God for his grace.
Would you like to learn more about our needs for summer 2012? If you have any questions, feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Attention Christine.