Today I was horse riding which is one of my weekly “feed my happy” times. Tahnee is my ride at the moment and as is often the case, God uses those things around me and in my world to share life lessons with me.
Today I got a lesson through my horse Tahnee, who can at times be a little bit of a challenge as she has a tendency to kick at any horse who gets even a little close to her. When she was younger she was picked on by the other horses and developed a defensive attitude as a result. Her defense is to put her ears back, kick, squeal and have a bit of a hissy fit.
Today was one of those days where one of the other horses very innocently put his head over the fence right next to where I was tacking Tahnee up. Next minute Tahnee starts kicking, squealing and making a ruckus in protest, while the other horse stood back wondering what all the fuss was about. He’d just come over to say hello.
How similar we can be at times to Tahnee. Perhaps we’ve been hurt or felt victimised or disappointed in the past. Maybe things have happened in our childhood or adolescence and we still carry the wounds and scars which we haven’t allowed God or anyone else to touch upon so that we can recover and receive healing from them. As a result when something or someone looks like getting too close, or behaves or sounds even slightly like our previous experiences we can end up freaking out and behaving much like Tahnee. This defensive reaction can rise up in us regardless of the person or situation and their intentions towards us.
Instead of assessing and processing the person or circumstance for what it is, we revert back and are triggered to respond defensively and with fear and distrust, to protect ourselves. Our triggers have been hit and we kick, scream or pull away or withdraw to avoid being hurt or let down at all costs.
However God doesn’t want this defensive way of life to be who we are. He knows it will cause us to miss out; un-dealt with experiences, trauma and hurts if left can and do warp our true personality and who God created us to be.
Tahnee is actually, when feeling safe and secure, a very sweet horse and when I let her know everything’s fine and take control she doesn’t react nearly as much. She even senses if I am unsteady or unsure and will hold back to allow me time to gather myself so as not to fall. Her true nature is gentle and giving. At first I didn’t particularly like her, but she and I are fast becoming friends. I’m understanding that Tahnee, just like many of us, wasn’t born with a defensive nature, it was her experiences and fears that made her wary of other horses, and just like us, when she feels loved and secure is great to ride with and be around.
Today I felt the Lord wants to encourage us that no matter what we’ve been through; He is there and looking after us. I go out of my way to protect Tahnee from being hurt as I ride her, and our loving heavenly Father, our Papa protects us too. Just as it’s easy to direct and look after Tahnee when she listens, its far easier for God to guide, direct and protect us when we listen to him. Yet unlike a horse He wants to be able to simply whisper and guide us with a gentle look and directive hand rather than having to make us feel controlled like a horse with a bit and bridle.
Today I encourage you to allow Him into every part of your life in a greater way, including any hurts and fears from the past. You can trust Him to defend and protect you, so that you no longer have to live wary of relationships, new circumstances, and always on the defensive.
Follow the directives in His Word, (they’re there to help us), and listen out everyday for His gentle whisper, so that just like Tahnee and I, you’ll be able to ride along with Him into all that you were created to be and do.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.God cares for us.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27 NIV)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you have my life in your capable hands. Please help me to stop living on the defensive and to trust you more to guide and protect me from harm. I choose to trust you today so I can really enjoy the ride. In Jesus name amen.