An arctic cold front came to our part of Texas this last weekend. It brought temperatures down to the teens in some parts. As a Texas girl who loves hot summers and warm spring and fall, winter is truly the time of year I feel like just hunkering down to let it pass. Those who know me will attest to the fact that I am a "cold weather wimp". Even though I grew up in some pretty cold areas of the world, I have grown accustomed to the heat of the south, and I love it! Thankfully here in the Texas Hill Country we only see a few weeks of the season get this stinkin' cold, and this last week was one of them and came a little early too. So I piled on my layers of clothing, raided my cold-weather-junkie-husband's winter clothing for extra protection from biting wind, and dredged out to feed the herd three times a day. This herd must feel the same way I do about the cold weather, they were a bit grumpy about it too! They also tend to hunker down, and get sedative through the day, sticking close to the hay barn for wind break and probably the hope of extra hay, which I always give them to keep them warm when it gets this cold. I can only let them do that for so long though. Horses were made with very complex digestive tracts, and when they don't get moving physically they can get in some trouble. See, they are grazing animals with about 70 feet of intestines wound up inside their body cavity. So it is pretty important that they physically move a lot during the day and night. My strategy to keep them moving during this recent cold front was to wheelbarrow their hay out to their 15 acre pasture, putting small piles of hay all over to make them do a lot of walking. Even though it meant more time feeding in the dreaded cold and biting wind, that is a whole lot better than having to walk a horse for hours with colic in the cold and biting wind.
As I was walking across the pasture several times today I was thinking about how we too get "stuck at the hay barn" at times in our lives. You know that comfy place that blocks the cold wind of our circumstances. It can also be called complacent. Stuck. Denial. Unfocused. Distracted. To name a few. It happens in our marriages, our work, our parenting, and yes even our horsemanship. Sometimes our circumstances really do make us want to hunker down til the storm passes. But is that what God calls us to do? And aren't we too, like our horses, made in a way that needs movement? I find that we are. We are made to need movement towards God. Especially in those storms of life . No matter how big or small they are, that is what He tells us, and that is what He sent His son Jesus to do, to make a pathway for us towards relationship with Him.
So what do we do to get moving again? For me, it came in confession today. Confession of my fears to Jesus, because He indeed asks me ifor them. Fear of not always knowing what my children need as they change and grow up faster than I ever could have thought possible. Yesterday in church my husband and I watched a tender moment between a 4 year old little boy and his daddy sitting in the pew in front of us. His father held him in his arms while he sang worship songs, and the little boy had his arms wrapped around his daddy's neck with his little hands clasped together, finding every bit of comfort he was needing that moment safe in his daddy's arms. I thought about my own children at that age and how much easier it was to know what they needed then, now as teens and tweens they seem to be a little more complicated. I confessed my worry of not knowing how to be the best wife possible, and even more the worry of how to be the woman God wants me to be, instead of the one the world tells me to be. And there I was getting unstuck from the hay barn of my circumstances today. One by one I put them in the wheelbarrow to Jesus and wheeled them across the pasture. And one by one He reminded me that He is with me in all of them, and will provide me every day with what I need to keep moving. It is a gift to care for a herd of horses every day (in the cold too), but it is more of a gift to have my soul be cared for by my loving Savior, Jesus.
His Teaching Cues:
Are you "stuck at the hay barn" today?
What are your circumstances that need to go into the wheelbarrow to Jesus to get you moving again?
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."