We horse chicks know all about a thing called "Herd Bound" or "Separation Anxiety". Yes, sometimes we horse chicks also experience this when away from our horses, but I am writing here about what some horses experience when they have to be separated from their herd. This is common in the world of horses because horses are herd animals and they all experience this on some level whenever they are separated from their herd. It is how God designed them, and serves a very important purpose. They are designed to need their herd for safety from predators. "Safety in numbers!" But what about how God designed us? In the perfection of His plan, He designed us to need also. To need dependence on another. I can honestly say that all of us at some time in our lives have focused that need of dependence on someone or something other than God. Just like our horses were made to need their herd, we were made by God to need Him....to need His love, His direction, His compassion, His comfort, His strength, His provisions....the list goes on and on. Yet we so often replace that dependence that was meant first and foremost for Him, with self-sufficiency, personal saviors in our loved ones, money, success, addictions, work...and again that list could go on.
When I have a horse that is "herd bound" or experiences anxiety when separated from its herd there is training to be done specifically for that. That training always begins with our relationship of trust between each other. I keep in mind though that my relationship with my horse will never be as safe as his relationship to his herd. I can, over time with my horse, build enough trust that he can feel safe to leave his herd and go where I lead him, but I know his complete and wholehearted trust and dependence remains with his herd of horses; as it should. We are just like the horse...we can build trusting attachments to our loved ones, dependence on our professions, belief in things we "depend" on, but in the end the dependence we most seek can only be filled by relationship with God our Heavenly Father.
His training cues:
"Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you."
"I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness."
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me."