Most Christians agree that adultery is wrong. God’s beef against His people in the Old Testament was serial spiritual adultery, worshipping other Gods, disobedience, and breaking covenant. We are blessed by the Holy Spirit, yet continue to worship the idol of worry.
In the late 1970s, I bought a Sherman on the Mount greeting card. I cut it in half, mounting the front of the card in the left half of a 5×7 hinged frame and the inside of the card on the right. The colorful little cartoon monk wears a beatific expression on the front, suggesting something wonderful.
The front of the card reads: I just saw God
A sober Sherman writes on the inside: and He wasn’t smiling.
Why I’ve packed this card around for forty years is a mystery. It’s safely boxed up, but I predict it will move to my office bookcase before Thanksgiving. I always knew there was a bigger message from Sherman than just a witty greeting, and maybe now I’ve figured it out.
Worry. Maybe it’s about worry.
God does not smile when you worry.
Building a Bomb-Proof Horse
Bo, one of my original amazing grays, came into my life in 2006, a handsome and athletic rose gray two-year-old who’d never been haltered. I rode him less than 45 times our first year together because we sold the ranch, moved to a smaller facility we built on one of our remote hayfields, and spent much of the next year caring for my husband’s parents until they passed away.
As a five-year-old, Bo was getting pretty broke, although not highly trained. There’s a big difference. Broke is solid on the basics and dependable; trained is highly skilled in a particular discipline.
Bo and a few other horses auditioned to see who would become my horse. I chose Bo, but that didn’t mean he was perfect. Almost, but not quite. Kind of like you and me, mostly there, but still needing a bit of polish.
Bo’s Legend Grows
After a sweaty workout one day, Bo was butt-to-the-wall in our indoor wash rack. He wasn’t tied, and could see out the breezeway door at the end of the concrete wall not six feet away from his muzzle.
There was a quick-disconnect on the end of the hose to make changing sprinklers and nozzles fast and easy. After popping the spray nozzle onto the hose I turned the water on full blast.
For a moment all was well, then the nozzle blew off the end of the hose like a bomb, the explosion at Bo’s hocks, water blasting, immediately soaking his hindquarters. Any self-respecting horse without a death wish would skedaddle out of the barn to a safe distance before looking back to see if I survived.
Bo didn’t move one hoof. He tucked his butt a little and swiveled his ears backwards, but that was it.
Fear and faith can’t occupy the same real estate. Worry and fear are the same thing. Bo didn’t worry because I was there, and he had total faith in me.
I was humbled.
Bombs and Barrels Are Not the Same
A few months later, Bo and I were at a mounted shooting event. I expected Bo to be the steady, dependable fellow he always was. After all, he withstood an explosion without concern. Nothing bothered my Mr. Bo.
Mounted shooting wasn’t new for us, and there was nothing unusual about this day; except a blue barrel across the road from the arena about 500 feet away. Bo saw it and went rigid: stiff-necked, head raised, back hollowed, ears trained directly on the barrel.
Anyone watching could say, “I just saw Lynn, and she wasn’t smiling.”
Worry is An Insult
Bo’s reaction was totally out of character. I wasn’t angry or upset, but mystified and disappointed, insulted and a bit sad, but still committed to doing what was best for Bo because that’s how our relationship works.
The blue barrel had nothing to do with Bo in the moment, it couldn’t touch him and wasn’t moving. It’s only attraction, the reason Bo ripped his focus from me to the barrel, is that it existed.
Bo never worried when he considered me first because I never gave him reason to mistrust me. His attention on the silly barrel, incapable of doing him harm, was greater than his focus on me. Thus, his concern and my dilemma.
Worry is Rejection
How do you feel when your horse frets, has a case of nerves, or spooks? Rejected, inadequate, angry, frustrated, or a failure?
You prepared, calculated, invested, studied, sweated, groomed, paid outlandish bills, and provide everything he needs because your commitment has no limit. When you’re there, your horse has no reason for concern.
Today your horse trusts you and tomorrow he turns into a quivering bowl of pony pudding. Without reason. That’s the worst kind of rejection.
Why then, do we show that face to God, the Author of our beginning and ending, the God who provided a ram to Abraham and the means to dissolve every fear and concern?
Worry is wrong.
Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Thy Will Be Done
There is a battle in the heavenlies between God and Satan. “We do not war against flesh and blood.” Don’t be fooled, don’t fear, don’t harbor resentment against anyone, and always look to God first before reading the day’s news.
God is able to meet every challenge and transform anything into anything else. Most Christian worry lives in the fear that though God can do anything, He may not choose to do it the way we want Him to. All we have to offer God is ourselves. Worry is not a gift. It’s wrong.
Worry is never God’s desire for us. His will is that we seek first the kingdom of God, trust Him for all we need, and know that He will provide precisely what we require precisely when our need is greatest.
Related post: The Truth About Change–Faith and Worry Don’t Socialize
Related post: Do You Worry You’re Not Doing Enough?
Tempted or Faith in the Wrong Thing?
Worry is either a temptation indulged in or believing the wrong thing. Rapture and Revelation won’t tell you what to believe, but it will challenge you to be honest about why you believe what you do.
Fair warning: Itching ears will not like this book. Remember, the Spirit of God both draws and repels.
Thanks for your encouraging words!
I am reminded of Proverbs 16:9
“Man makes his plans, but the LORD determines his steps.”
Linda, a promise of Jesus is kept every time the Spirit brings part of God’s Word to our mind.
This turned on a light bulb for me re a new horse I have. She is a tiny mini mare who, although affectionate, has strong fright/flight issues in tight spaces or when crowded. I have a therapy program that she was supposed to fit into for outside visits, but her instability deems that too risky, albeit dangerous. I see the worry in her eyes and body language. And I realize I need to re-evaluate God’s purpose for her coming into my life. She needs me to be God for her, as God is for me. My original intent is the opposite of her needs. Surrendering to God’s will (faith, trust) allow me to live more confidently, knowing I am safe with Him.
It’s the same for my little mare; she needs to know she’s safe with me in the same way. What great gifts we have in horses!
Linda Jane Detrick
Promise Ponies Mini-stry
Linda, God is so good! He leads us to the lesson, and like the most worthy Teacher, lets us work it out ourselves. You are wise. Imagine no outcome for your little mare other than what each day brings. Don’t limit what’s possible or expect what isn’t there. The joy is in the journey. She’s already taught you a big lesson. God knows where it goes from here. Thank you for sharing an important point for many. And yes, horses are a great gift.
We often know the scriptures about worry and we can say them out loud, fully believing them in our heads but there can be a disconnect in our hearts, minds and body’s. We can feel discouraged with ourselves and even put more guilt and shame on ourselves when we worry as we know for sure that we are not fully trusting God. Often horses show up like that too especially if they have experienced abuse or trauma . My own Experience growing up with alcoholism meant fear and worry were never far away. Even as an event rider and horse trainer I could at times experience crippling anxiety and fear. It took many years to understand that God would never leave me or forsake me, but even fully believing this, my body and mind took further convincing. I now realise that although God can completely heal anything, he sometimes allows us to go through a process, because he knows us individually, and just like the horses we have lessons to learn. My journey has been long, horses have taught me more about the patient and gentle nature of Jesus than anything else and have led me to study trauma and PTSD and run an equine assisted learning programme. God has been very patient with me, I trust him, but at times I still struggle and I think others if they are honest would admit that too. God is able, he provides wonderful horses to help us with our life lessons and sometimes therapists too. I love your blogs very much as I resonate so much with them and of course the wonderful horses.
Emma, you describe what many experience but are too afraid or ashamed to admit. We have a lot in common. I couldn’t begin to grasp the magnitude of God’s love and commitment to me until I made a similar commitment to horses. I’d never seen it in a person. I learned that commitment means no matter what; no exceptions, no deal breakers, no excuses, even if life itself is in jeopardy. Years after I thought anything could frighten me, I had another lesson. I could fear. After admitting it to the Lord I realized the purpose for my rescue horse. He was dangerous. I was too old, the risk too great, and I flat didn’t want to do what needed to be done. God didn’t let me off the hook, and I learned once again, that He will never forsake me. I think God permitted me a career with horses because He knew it was the one connection that could free me from early experiences and teach me who He is. Perhaps He did the same with you. Unshakable faith carries the scars of battle. I appreciate your note more than you know.
Enjoyed your message, with many changes taking place in my life right now I do need to focus on Gods plan and worry less, put this all into Gods hand and trust him. Thank you, Nicky
Change is particularly tempting when it comes to worry. You’re right, everyone’s life is different than it was six months ago. The secret is looking to God first before looking out your window, turning on the news, or checking the internet. God is ABLE. When we look at the problems first, we start to worry. Worry has a lot to do with unknowns. Heaven is an unknown, but I trust Jesus and look forward to meeting Him face to face, whenever that is. Blessings, Lynn
Nicky, you know the way. Be sure to enjoy the new scenery and opportunity. God has purpose for everything, and it’s always for our good.God is worthy!
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