My dear friend, Melissa tells this story: The Lord blessed us many years ago with a beautiful mare named Diamond. She had blood lines I never thought would walk through my barn….Strike, *Aladdin, *Bask. The Lord brought her to us at a time of heartbreak, after we had to put down our strong, handsome gelding, Doc.
If you can ever see yourself in an animal, I see myself in Diamond. We get along great. I love her feisty faithfulness. She has been a true diamond in my life.
Our girls have taken turns showing her quite successfully in 4H and now, Josiah, our youngest, gets his turn. He wanted to try something new with her so they are learning Gymkhana (speed). They’re both doing very well.
Looking back, it was a day of battling in my mind. My husband and I were still trying to work things out, still trying to heal from an almost fatal blow to our marriage. He was truly repentant, and I was trying to forgive. But I was not there yet. So, I was looking forward to a peaceful night with just the horses and the children. Because Diamond had a touch of claustrophobia from some accidents in younger days, tying her proved to be risky at times as we never knew when she would panic. While Josiah carefully secured her to the trailer, I was filling out papers on the front of the truck, keeping an eye on both of them.
Hearing and feeling a commotion, I looked back as Diamond reared up, fighting and struggling against the lead rope. Coming down, her front legs went under the trailer, and as she struggled to stand back up, she badly cut both front legs in three places. Josiah felt terrible when he saw the deep bleeding wounds. A friend came and looked at them and cleaned them for us but said Diamond needed a vet……tonight.
Since my husband and I had gone through a bad day of arguing, getting away with the kids and the horses were my excuse to not work things out, but now I knew I had to call him. Of course, he wanted to help, but I was not yet in a kind or forgiving mood.
He brought another trailer out and took us to our vet in LaGrange where Diamond endured two hours and over 30 stitches. Now, Diamond would be stall bound, needing cleaning and bandaging twice a day and walking two to three times a day. She became depressed and lost weight. With all of us working in the corn fields, this was an added burden to me. But my husband, without being asked, took care of her. There was no scolding, just him loving and serving us through this trial. He even removed her stitches himself. Diamond dealt with some proud flesh (*see below), but our daughter, Barbara pitched in and took care of it, scrubbing it daily and applying meds to the raw skin.
God had my attention. I could hardly look at Diamond without knowing I was looking at myself. The next day I was praying, asking the Lord to show me what this was all about. I didn’t want to hear it, and yet, in a sense, was desperate to hear it.
He showed me that was me tied to that trailer. Tied to the circumstances I found myself in with all the hurt, brokenness, and disappointment. It felt like God said I had a choice. I could continue to fight against this immovable trial, fight against the pain, and fight against Him, but as I thrashed about, I was only going to hurt myself and those around me more. Like Diamond, I could fight and struggle until I was finally free from this trial, but it would only end in bloody, ripped flesh and more heartache. Battling and ripping away from this trial to find “freedom” would not be freedom at all.
By allowing fear and panic to rule in my heart along with anger, I would only be fueling my reactions and hurting those trying to walk with me. I knew then that I must submit to the Lord’s timing, to His gentle, surgical hands, to allow him to clean out the ripped flesh and with love and concern stitch up my wounds. I am tied to this trial. I choose not to run away. I have discovered there is redeeming power in the midst of this pain if I submit and loosen the rope holding me so tight. The Lord promised He would bring good out of this because of His steadfast love for me and He knows that I love Him. I stand on that promise and see His sweet hand bringing blessings already. HE WILL BE GLORIFIED!
(* Proud flesh is when the flesh of the wound grows faster than the healing of the wound itself. The flesh continues to grow at a high rate and can squeeze out circulation and tendon/ligament function causing the horse to go lame. This can be likened to when our pride gets in the way of God’s healing power. Sometimes our flesh must be dealt with as well.)