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Living Water in a Dry Land

As I read my Bible to prepare for the Spring of 2024, I felt the Lord start a conversation with me in my heart about water. Every season we as a staff pray and prepare our hearts for the coming Session season but this felt like the Lord was taking me on a side quest. Not knowing where He was taking me but deeply intrigued, I willingly followed where I felt He was leading. I landed on a passage in Isaiah 41 that spoke of the healing power of water.

“When the poor and needy search for water and there is none,

and their tongues are parched from thirst,

then I, the Lord, will answer them.

I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.

I will open up rivers for them on the high plateaus.

I will give them fountains of water in the valleys.

I will fill the desert with pools of water.

Rivers fed by springs will flow across the parched ground.”

-Isaiah 41:17-18

I mused about how much water horses need in order to survive. Horses drink 6-10 gallons of water in cool temperatures but will increase their water intake to 15 gallons per day in hot weather. When Remi (one of our session horses) was first rescued, he had lacked water for so long that he drank a whopping 54 gallons of water within the first 24 hours! Back in 2022, Remi had been starving in a pasture before coming to Freedom Reigns. Remi was skeletal with ribs and hips bones jutting and his skin was wrapped tight around his body. His eyes were wide and panicky as he entered his stall but they softened as he began to gulp water thirstily. We were shocked when we came out every 2 hours for his feedings at how many times we needed to refill his bucket! As he began rehydrating, we watched as his hide grew looser and started to fill out to cover his prominent bones. While he still had much weight to gain, just the intake of water that his body so desperately craved provided needed sustenance.

When the Lord just started highlighting this to me, we had just recently had 8 inches of snow (which melted!) and then it absolutely poured rain! Volunteers and horses were slipping and sliding in the mud because the ground was so saturated with water. There was so much rain that it created a rushing stream down from our barn, swirling and pushing rock and mud out of its way. It created ponds several inches deep in our firepit area and pastures. No matter how much protective gear we put on, we always left the day soaked! My first reaction to the rain was to be grumpy and to complain. I do not like being wet at ALL. The feeling of wet clothes clinging to me and the drip of wet hair slapping my neck is super uncomfortable to me. But as God continued to guide my thoughts, I remembered what it was like to have a lack of water.

The Lord brought to mind the past Summer of 2023. I remembered vividly how difficult it was to trudge through a day in the oppressive heat. There was no rain which caused a drought and the ground was cracked and parched. The grass shriveled and died. We would bring in horses for activities and their coats were dark with sweat and itchy from the salt that clung to their hides. While by the grace of God, we had a well, we did not have waterlines installed to provide water to the pastures. So we had to manage by dragging 40 feet of hose to each trough, back and forth from pasture to pasture- a sacrifice that left us hotter and more sweaty than before. I remember longing for rain, for snow, for a bucket of ice to be poured over my head- literally anything that could spare me from the heat!

The Bible speaks about water in such a cool way! When experiencing as much rain as we did in the Spring, the verses in Isaiah 41 impacted me significantly. After going through a Summer of stifling heat, the Lord poured so much water onto us that it literally created new bodies of water where there hadn't been any before. He "filled the desert with pools of water." Then, as we entered our Season of dryness, He provided abundantly more for us! Just in time for the stifling heat of Summer 2024, we were given the funds to have water lines installed! Where before we had to drag hoses 40 feet from the well, now each trough is no more than a few feet away from a water spicket. Not only did we have water poured out onto us to refresh us for the Spring Season, we were given the gift of easy access to water just in time for the heat of the Summer.

God has so much to give us in our seasons of “dryness” (our hurt, confusion, chaos, or just plain exhaustion) and longs for us to ask Him to satisfy our hearts. Jesus promises to give us Living Water when we ask- the kind of water that will satisfy the ache of thirst forever! (John 4) He gives us easy access too, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Not only do we have the Living Water, but we do not have to toil and strive for it. It is a gift given to us freely when we ask!

This year, we have had the absolute privilege of welcoming new participants into our Session Programs thanks to the generosity of our volunteers! We have seen the Lord pour His love out onto our participants and volunteers just like the soaking rain so that we are all completely saturated in it! He is the Living Water that leaves us refreshed, rejuvenated, and hopeful for the future! No matter what hardships we endure or circumstances we encounter, He is the one who satisfies us and bring us fulfillment.

I want that for you too, dear reader. So many of you have poured out so much generosity onto the Ranch through gifts and time and I’m praying that the Lord pours His Living Water into your life. I want you to experience just how generous our God is. He gives Himself- His love, affection, comfort, energy, wisdom, and kindness- without hesitation and without restraint. We can trust Him to satisfy us!

”Jesus replied, 'If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask Me, and I would give you living water.'"-John‬ ‭4‬:‭10‬

-Written by Rachel Moore, Executive Ranch Assistant

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