Thursday, November 30, 2017

I Did It MY way...BAD Idea!

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him”—James 1: 5.

The Lord speaks to us in many ways: the Bible (His Word), dreams, visions, a “still small voice,” and on the rare occasion, audibly—just to name a few. He also “speaks” through everyday circumstances. He taught me a thing or two through this latter type of communication.

My husband Bruce and I rode with our friend, Bo, for one of the ranches in northern Nevada. Our job was to help drive six bulls across the pastures, through a gate, and “kick” them up a canyon. We gathered the bulls and drove them along the fence line. “Can you get the gate?” Bo called over the sagebrush. “Sure,” I called back, trotting my horse to the gate. Dismounting, I tried to unlatch it.

Two wire loops, attached to the main fence, were wrapped around the end post of the gate—one over the top, one around the bottom. Simple, right? I thought so. Besides, we have this kind of gate all over Texas. Trying to pop off the top loop first, I grabbed a hold of the post and pushed ... nothing. I pushed as hard as I could ... still nothing. Then I commenced to pulling that post ... nothing! Frustrated and scolding myself for getting soft in the muscle, I’m not sorry to say, I also called for angelic help.

The urgency? Six HUGE bulls were trotting up the trail toward me, and that gate wasn’t budging. As the minutes ticked by, Bo figured there was something wrong and sent Bruce to help me. Bruce stepped off his horse, grabbed a hold of a metal lever (that I didn’t see), and cleanly and simply popped it up—releasing the loop around the top of the post. Gate open, the bulls charged through, and we chased them into the canyon.

I had to chuckle at myself. Apparently, this handy metal lever is called a “Lady’s Aid”—this advantageous invention was lost on me! As we rode back to the ranch, the Lord spoke to me in that still, small voice of His, revealing a couple of lessons to be learned:

Lesson One: sometimes, when told to do something, we jump in and tackle the project the way we’ve always done it or how we think it should be done. After all, from a glance, we assume the situation resembles what we’ve dealt with in the past, and we use the same old strategy that worked before. The problem is, we assumed.

We try to accomplish the task in our own strength and knowledge. The Lord tries to tell us He has provided a better, easier way. But we’re so focused on our opinion, we ignore Him and end up making it harder on ourselves. (Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”)  He told me, “You cannot do what I’ve called you to do in your own strength. You may succeed a little (I did get the wire loop pushed up near the top of the post), but you’ll never get the job fully done.”

Lesson Two: unity. I couldn’t figure out that gate, but Bruce could because he had the knowledge. We need to let others help us—there are no Lone Rangers in the Kingdom of God. We are all called to uplift, encourage, and exhort one another, helping in each other’s destinies.
(1 Corinthians 12:1-11)

Thank you, Lord, for caring enough to speak our language when we need a little “tunin’ up!”