What can animals teach us about God?
I think that depends upon how you feel about animals. I know a few folks who feel animals are just instinct-driven, mindless creatures who have no emotions, no will, no choice.
If that is how you feel, you should not waste your time reading this post.
Animals, especially animals we have relationships with, can give us valuable, practical understanding about our relationship with God.
Horses, in particular, speak to my heart.
I used to feel guilty about how much I loved horses. Until Jesus whispered His love for me and gave me a context for His love.
One day, as I watched Scooter (my little red horse that I love) gallop across the field, his tail high, his mane whipping in the wind, my heart literally beat faster. I could feel it. Tears sprang to my eyes and I felt overcome with love for Scooter. Inside that same breath came a voice "Katy, the way you feel about Scooter is just a tiny taste of the way I love you..."
I had to sit and...
What are the symptoms of relational starvation?
Anxiety, loneliness, emptiness, hopelessness, restlessness.
What is the cure for relational starvation?
The world will tell you that it’s other people, or your fabulous job, or your fulfilling life.
I am convinced that no matter how many friends you have, no matter your job, no matter how purpose-filled your life, there is only one Bread, only one Living Water, only One who makes me OK inside my own skin.
So the cure for relational starvation is not a what, but a Who.
Jesus is the Bread of Life, Living Water, the breath in my lungs.
I belong either to Life, or I belong to death.
When I belonged to death, every cell in my body knew it. My mind was filled with futility. My soul felt dark and empty. These were expressions of who I was in Adam. In Adam is the term the Bible uses to describe a person who does not know Jesus.
When I belonged to death I created a system for...
I am a wave walker.
What is a wave walker?
A wave walker is someone who has abandoned the boat. A wave walker chooses to place her confidence in the Wave Maker.
As a wave walker, I don’t need to make the waves. I cannot control the waves. I cannot overcome the waves.
A wave walker simply trusts the One who calls her out onto the waves.
A wave walker trusts Him, even when the waves look enormous. Even when they swamp the boat she has left behind. Even when the waves make no sense to her. Even when fear looks higher than the waves.
A wave walker trusts that even if she drowns, that He has overcome death.
A wave walker simply trusts Him. And steps from the boat.
I am a wave walker.
Will you join me?
Oreo is a sweet little kitty I rescued about 13 years ago. She was feral, so wild that I couldn't touch her. I used food to lure her into a humane trap. She was very frightened, and actually attacked my hand when I grabbed the handle of the trap to bring her home.
It took a while for her to trust me. She is free to return to the dump, but she has found something much better.
And so she stays with me.
I love that.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
I choose to curl up in His lap and rest.
See you in the round pen!
My life or His?
Part of this understanding of being a new creation involves my life. My plans. My future.
Now that I belong to Jesus, I pray. Prayer is simply me choosing to participate with Him. At first my prayers may be small. That’s OK.
I think about my little red horse. Scooter’s plans sound something like this. Wake up when the sun is halfway up. Stretch. Rub itchy neck on the post. Nibble the green grass on the outside of the fence. Wander to the round bale of hay and eat. Chase Dream and WhiteStar for a few minutes. Nap in the sun.
These are fine plans for a horse. Nothing evil. But they are small plans. Plans for Scooter’s survival.
I have much bigger plans for Scooter. Dancing, traveling. Sharing Christ’s Life with others. Deepening Scooter’s understanding of who I am.
My plans for myself are often small. Not evil. My prayers are often about me. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is natural ~ and small....
Have you ever felt it? It’s the thing you can’t quite name, the feeling that something is not right. It presses on your heart and mind. It wakes you at 3:00 AM. You find yourself desperate to distract from it. Anything will do. Reading, shopping, eating. The thing buzzes in your brain and reminds you that you are not enough.
What is this thing?
The thing is a wall; a barrier I have built over time to protect my soul from pain.
A dear friend in high school ditches me for a boy. I seal off a tiny part of my heart. Never again, I vow. I will never trust like that again. A man promises me a future and family. And then dumps me. After I gave him EVERYTHING. Never again, I promise my broken heart and body. I will never trust like that again.
A boss I revere gives me a pink slip. “It’s nothing personal,” she snips. “We are downsizing.” Never again, I resolve. Never will I invest so much of me into someone else. My child, the child I...
Somehow in my early years as a Christian, I lost my sense of delight in Jesus. I was still happy to have been saved from Hell, but my delight got lost in a sense of duty.
God has used my delight in Scooter to show me how He loves me. And His love is delightful.
One of the things I love to do through Beautiful Brokenness is to change the way folks see His delight. I don’t think God is delighted as much by the big things we want to accomplish for Him as the dance of delight He wants to share with us.
The word delight is a big word and can be used in many ways.
First as a noun in two ways: delight: 1) a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture: Example ~ She takes great delight in her horse.
2) something that gives great pleasure: The dance was a delight to see.
Then as a verb (used with object)
3. to give great pleasure, satisfaction, or enjoyment to; please highly: The dance delighted everyone.
verb (used without object)
4. to have great pleasure; take pleasure...
The Gift of Anxiety
I used to see anxiety as an emotion I needed to control, or better, get rid of. My pervasive anxiety would cause unbearable guilt, for I knew I wasn’t trusting God fully. I would beg Him to remove my anxious feelings and thoughts. I would practice breathing deeply and meditating on His Word. Those practices helped momentarily, but the moment some new challenge appeared (like the knowledge that the bank balance is $2.35 when the mortgage is due) I would lapse back into the guilt-ridden spiral of fear.
Pleading with God to relieve my pain only brought more pain. His stony silence echoed in my fractured thoughts, and I could almost see Him, looking down from His throne, shaking His head in disappointment, arms crossed over His chest. Oh ye of little faith.
One day I was playing with Scooter, my little red horse. I wanted to refine his understanding of how to move sideways. Because of Scooter’s past abuse, he tends to get emotional under pressure. Scooter...
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