When I was a young girl, I thought horseback riding looked incredibly romantic. Hair flowing, horse elegantly galloping, peace, power, beauty . . . *sigh*. These are the things dreams are made of. When Bob and I were dating I finally had the chance to experience riding in real life. That dream became a nightmare in short order.
We went to a local stable and I got the “meekest, mildest horse” there. (Yeah, right.) The ride was nice until Bob expressed his want for a little more speed. He and the owner asked if I’d be okay with that. Feeling pretty confident as far as a first ride went, I agreed. I received further instruction and figured I’d be okay since I had the “meekest, mildest horse” they had. Honestly, she did seem a little old and tired, perfect for a newbie like me. What could go wrong? Ha! What didn’t go wrong?
As instructed, I gave the horse’s sides a little kick. And we were off for the races! My old, tired girl suddenly had the stamina of a stallion running for the prize cup. My hard, frantic tugging on the reins and hollering “Whoa!” amounted to nothing. Apparently she hadn’t been cut loose for a long time and decided I was the perfect novice rider on which to take out her pent up energy.
We galloped across the open field. (I wonder if my hair was flowing?) I had fleeting concerns about her falling into a groundhog hole. I was also concerned about the treeline ahead that was rocking from side to side in my vision. I knew I didn’t stand a chance in the woods. Heck, I didn’t stand a chance in the open field. I was doomed!!!
Then out of nowhere comes my hunk of burning love — Bob, in case you didn’t realize it– on a big white horse. No, I’m not kidding. He got the big, white horse to accommodate his tall, muscular body. Who knows how fast he galloped to catch us but, thank God, catch us he did. He reached out, just like in the movies, grabbed my horse’s bridle, and got ole meek and mild to slow down and finally stop. I’d had all the galloping I could tolerate for one day.
We took a slow, quiet ride back to the stable. I remember the owner’s face; he looked white. Bob, still in movie fashion, gracefully dismounted from his horse and once again came to my aid. He offered me his hand and his strength which I stubbornly refused. I was mad! I’d get myself off that meek and mild nag so, No, don’t help me!
I was surprised to discover how heavy my leg felt when I swung it over to dismount. I could barely lift it; it felt like a bag of sand. I should’ve taken Bob’s assistance but I was already in motion . . . and I had my pride. I slid off the side of the horse and much to my surprise my butt hit the ground. I couldn’t help it. My weakened legs betrayed the trauma I felt inside; they had no strength to support my body. Sitting there in the dirt, looking up into Bob’s handsome face, well, that was the end of my pride . . . and the end of my romantic notions involving horseback riding.
That memory made me wonder how many times have I refused God’s help? How many times has He extended His hand and offered me His strength and I stubbornly denied it? How many times have I assumed I could do it on my own, only to look up from the dirt into His face and realize what a fool I’ve been?
We are in perilous times all across the world. Our only hope is to take the hand offered us and receive the strength of God. Join me today in humbling ourselves before the Almighty. And hear me: We will be humbled. We can choose to humble ourselves on our own before our God and let Him lift us up in due time or we will fall in the dirt . . . and ache from saddle sores and butt bruises for days following. Let’s not refuse the aid of our rescuer.
For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: . . . And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. Isaiah 2:12; 17-19 KJV
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him: for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Isaiah 3:10
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James 4:6 KJV