"But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
At Freedom Reigns, we have found that God will often speak to us in seemingly small ways. He is so good at lining circumstances up so we can hear His voice- if we pay attention! In this case, we were using one pasture to take pictures of some of the horses so, to free up space, we placed Joseph in a pasture with his good friends; Cyrus, Finn, and Boston. After leading Joseph to the pasture and turning him loose, he beelined to the hay, snatched up a mouthful, and took off at a gallop! Cyrus, Finn, and Boston all joined him in his joyful run around the field. We were so delighted to see Joe and his friends gallop through the pasture- tails flagging, hooves pounding, with heads thrown proudly in the air. Joseph is an estimated 35 years old and it is so cool to see how much power and strength he still possesses. When he was given the opportunity to run and play, he snatched it up! We could practically see his age melting away as he galloped like a young horse again.
It makes me think of our Session kids. Oftentimes, in their first few visits to the Ranch, they are pretty hesitant and shy. Life has taught them caution, to protect themselves because getting their hopes up is not worth the hurt. Fear has kept them in chains. We hang on those moments with baited breath because we know a joyful transformation is coming.
As they build relationships and grow in confidence, we watch their fears melt away. They become like Joseph...jumping into Ranch life with gusto! They open up, start cracking jokes, and pour love out on the horses. Fear no longer has them imprisoned. They learn to trust the horses, volunteers, and the One who made them. After emerging from a life that has battered them around like a raging sea, they learn to rest in the care of others. Our kids learn that trust brings freedom. Freedom to let go and be ourselves, delighting in who God has made us to be.
And imagine how much MORE joy can be found when we trust in the Lord! People and horses, no matter how good the intentions, will still occasionally let us down. But God never will. There is so much joy in trusting in Him and in being obedient to His voice.
When was the last time you acted out of trust? The last time you let your trust in the Lord rather than fear be your guide? I pray that you will dig deep into your relationship with Him. That it will give you fresh energy and renewed hope. Like Joseph, running strong and free surrounded by friends, I hope you discover the freedom that trust brings.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
Written by Rachel Moore, Ranch Assistant