I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.
Psalm 32: 8, 9
Whenever I think about this scripture I picture the horse from the movie “The Horse Whisperer.” In the story, Pilgrim was out on an early morning ride with his owner when all of a sudden they encountered a circumstance that was totally out of their control. Without a thought, the protective instinct within Pilgrim rose up, and he put himself in harm’s way to take care of his owner. As a result of this, he sustained great injury. The rest of the story is about the healing process the whole family had to go through because of this trauma. Fear had entered their hearts and it caused them to put up many walls of self protection. These walls HAD to come down in order for the horse to experience healing. Brokenness had to become his friend. And, oh, how many times I have identified with the horse in this story.
As I read these scriptures, though, something sticks out to me each time. There are precious promises to us in these verses where God shows us that He will guide us and teach us about the specific paths we should take in life – and that is good news! However, it is interesting to me that the contrasting point to this promise is the warning not to be like a mule who must be controlled with a bit and a bridle. The picture that immediately comes to mind is that of a VERY stubborn animal not getting his way. His feet have dug into the ground and the rider is desperately trying to get him to go forward. Hmmm…..That sounds familiar…How many times have I done this very thing???
How many times have we allowed impatience to set the direction in which we go and we end up in circumstances God NEVER desired for us to go through. Sometimes these circumstances are painful and we would not have had to experience them if we had only waited on God. Unfortunately, there are times when we have to learn obedience through the things we suffer.If this is you, take heart!! One of the awesome things about these verses is that our Father wants to give us understanding by providing counsel and guidance. So, even if we have “missed it,” there is a lot of grace extended to us when we confess that we have gone our own way.
However, I believe there is a higher purpose and plan for our lives than this…It is the way of obedience. I firmly believe that PAIN DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OUR TEACHER! Each day we have a choice to make. We can decide to sit in our loving Father’s presence and BeLoved Completely. As we receive His love, He will also provide direction and counsel in the way we should walk. IF we choose to follow His leading, then abundant blessings come our way. However, if we choose to go our own way, we can expect pain to eventually show up on our path. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to end there. We can learn from our pain and make a dedicated decision to walk in obedience from that point on.
My prayer for us today is that we will choose to sit with our Father and let Him love us. As we do this, let us listen to His wise counsel and let us go forward at His leading and His direction.