When my son was in the third grade, we went to someone’s house to have our car worked on. As we were waiting, their son, who was about the same age, was riding a horse in the yard. It seemed gentle enough. When the boy asked if Bradley would like to ride and offered to lead him around, he agreed. The first round went okay, but when he came around the second time, the boy led the horse over top of the family dog. The horse stepped on the dog, and in turn, it bit the horse, causing it to throw him, landing him on the ground with a solid thud that knocked his breath out and gave everyone a scare. He was sure that with all the adults standing around, someone would catch him, but that was not the case.
As I was reminded of this story recently, it made me think of the reins on our lives and whom we allow to lead us. Is it us, someone else, or the idols that control us, or are we allowing God to hold the reins on our lives and lead us on the path He has designed?
God always prepares the way before us, one step at a time. Some take one small step in their spiritual journey and take three giant leaps backward to where they began. Most of us try to get ahead of God. Sometimes, God gives us a glimpse of our trip, and we are eager to get going, but God knows exactly when we are ready. It takes time to prepare us. I could not have begun my journey working with abused women until I walked down that road and was rescued from that life. I have grand visions for my ministry, but I must finish school to do them correctly and effectively. Perhaps, there are other people involved that God is still working on.
Each of us has a unique gift and role in helping others. Think of it as an assembly line. If one part is missing, the finished product won’t work smoothly. Each person has been trained for their position. They all contribute to the finished product. The final product isn’t complete if one person gets out of line.
We can’t run on a road that isn’t built yet.
We are God’s apprentices, and He equips, shapes, and trains us for the purpose He created us. He sometimes must put blinders on us, so we’ll keep our eyes on Him and not be distracted by the world’s noise. When we think we are in the dark about our next move, we are protected by the shadow of the Almighty’s wing. The path forward has not been prepared. Hope sparks a light for our journey – but we must not rush ahead. We must let Him lead, prepare the way, and look not to the left or right but straight into the eyes of Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Let us lay aside all the weights and sin which clings to us and run with patience the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1, ESV).
What do we bring to the table? Humble obedience and adoration for our Maker. We must listen well and allow God to speak into our hearts as we learn from Him like an apprentice and empty ourselves. The more we surrender – the more we gain. God is so good to us that even when we go out on our own and fall on our faces, unlike Bradley’s experience with the horse, we can trust He will catch us.
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8, ESV Emphasis added).