Apr2019 Devotion Feature

Comfort In Times of Trouble

I’ve suffered with chronic Lyme disease for the last 6-10 years. After more than a year of treatment, lack of symptoms suggest that I’m in remission. However, I still suffer severe headaches and migraines. What motivates me is my passion for horses and teaching others about horses. That, and my dogs is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I believe God wanted me to learn compassion through my health issues.

You see, in the past I’ve been pretty judgmental towards people who I felt made excuses when they were unable to keep commitments. In the last 2-3 years, I have been one of those people. My health issues have caused me to be unable to keep commitments and get done everything I’ve said I’d get done. I hated myself for it for a long time. Being loyal and being a person who stuck to their word was my identity. My conviction. Lyme disease made it near impossible for me to maintain my horse activities. I quit competing, quit taking private lessons, let my boarding and lesson business dwindle to nothing. 

I had a few people who were very compassionate toward me and reassured me they thought no less of me than before. It was their compassion and the compassion I knew God had for me that helped me have compassion for myself. It was also the constant never changing presence of my horses and horses I worked with that helped. I realized when I work with horses, I accept whatever they can give me that day. Why can’t I do that with people or with myself for that matter? The answer is I can!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Everyone suffers. Everyone has pressures on them that no one else understands. God understands. When we bring a horse into an arena they have no idea what we are going to be asking of them. Some days they take the pressures we put on them quite well. Other days the pressures are too much, and they react negatively. I am challenging myself to see people a bit more like I see horses; more like God sees us. God accepts what we can give Him on any given day. He has compassion for us in our times of trouble.

For me, it really goes back to the age old question: WWJD, what would Jesus do? How would Jesus react to this horse that was having a hard time with the pressures they were feeling? How would He react to a co-worker or client who showed up late or didn’t complete a task that was expected? Jesus would show compassion. How do you normally react when a horse or person doesn’t meet your expectations? I challenge myself to become more like our God “who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 

Sharon McCullough
Riding Instructor, Stormwalker Ranch
Owner, SAM Freelance Enterprises LLC