hoofprints-in-sand

Trust the Process – Grooming with God

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. — Isaiah 64:8

You are God’s amazing creation.  Just like the horse, He wants to continually work in you and through you. As you yield to Him and allow Him to take the lead, the results will be very exciting! For every vision or dream in your heart, there is a process to get there. I encourage you to be determined—no matter what happens—to trust God through the process.

I am a visual learner, and recently the Lord spoke to me about the process I go through while grooming horses.  For instance, preparing for horse shows.  I cannot just show up and take a few minutes to groom my horse right before they call my name and the gate opens.  This process actually begins long before show day, and it should be as much a part of a horse’s everyday routine as is feeding. A regular grooming regiment isn’t just for show horses, but should be for every horse. 

I want to walk you through some grooming steps to help create a vision of the process:

Picture a horse after a rainstorm caked in mud. Or picture a horse with sharp cockaburrs in their mane and tail from being out in the pasture.  They most likely also have rocks or mud stuck in their hooves and dirt down deep at the skin level that cannot be easily seen.

The first step in the process is to use a curry brush on the horse to strip off the outside layers of mud. The horse is “curried” to help loosen deep dirt, hair, plus stimulate the skin to produce natural oils. This can also help find sore or tender spots.  The Lord uses this same process to strip away things in our lives. Maybe it’s an old attitude or mindset that doesn’t line up with the way God thinks and acts. Or maybe it’s an unhealthy relationships holding us back from God’s perfect purposes in our lives. Whatever it is, we can pray a heartfelt prayer like, “Lord, please strip me of everything that’s not good for me, and everything that’s hindering my walk with You. Do what You need to do to get it out of my life.  Help me see my sore or bitter spots that might be causing walls that keep me from having the relationship I desire and need with You.”

Another step in the process is removing Bot eggs.   A Bot knife, or bot block, is used to scrape the eggs off the hair. Bot eggs turn into larvae, which can get inside your horse’s GI tract and cause damage.  The larvae eventually pass in the horse’s manure, and after a few weeks, they hatch as adult flies ready to start the cycle all over again.  Notice how distracting it is when a fly won’t leave you alone.  This caused me to think about how certain people or problems in my life cause distractions that keep me from focusing on God and the plan He has for me.  The bots must be removed to break the life cycle of the problem!  God will remove them if we allow Him to.  Then, He can develop the good things He has already placed inside us. 

Next, it’s time to get out the Dandy body brush.  Use the stiffer brush first.  Going with the lay of the hair, use a flicking motion, away from the horse, to rid horse and brush of dust as you clean. Look closely for nicks that may need to be treated. What about the nicks in our lives that may have been created by others or ourselves? Is it time to give those wounds to God to treat?  Maybe He will lead us to forgive someone or lead us to Scripture, each of which can bring healing.

Now it’s time to use the soft bristle Dandy body brush.  This lifts the fine dirt while distributing natural oils to provide polishing shiny results. As we grow and go on our ride with the Lord, there will be dusty roads to travel down. I feel like God is always polishing my life in some area. Walking with Jesus is a lifelong journey that brings us closer to Him and makes us more like Him. That’s why we should be thankful when the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin or the mistakes we make. It’s how He is cleaning and polishing us to help us stay in God’s will throughout our lives.

A hoof pick is used to dig out any stones or debris that might be stuck in the depressions surrounding the frog, from the point of the frog, all the way to the heel.  This is important in the grooming process as the hooves are the very foundation of the horse.  Jesus is our firm foundation.  He is the one that removes the things from our foundation that cause, or will cause, us pain.

God’s word also tells us in Matthew 10:14 that if some refuse to welcome you or listen to your message of hope, then shake off the dust from your feet as you leave. And don’t carry any of it with you.

Horses are naturally great at swishing away the flies that bug them and shaking off dust after a good roll. But they need us, as loving owners to help them get really clean. We go through many trials and trails here on earth, but God is there for us at each twist and turn. We truly need Him to keep us clean. He sent his only Son, Jesus, to die for our guilt, so that we may be cleansed as we lay down “self,” accept His forgiveness for our mistakes and bad choices, and commit to follow Him. And the result? Eternal life and unending love. 

Remember this whole process is not a quick one. It is daily and ongoing. Wherever you are in the restoration/grooming process, I want to encourage you to set your mind today knowing that God is healing you. Stay focused on following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Trust God to lead you in the way that is right, bringing you to wholeness in Christ in every area of your life. There are times when we need to focus on this promise, because being transformed – or groomed – for a journey with God is a diligent daily commitment. There are some painful parts of the process, but it will bring a beautiful reward for us and those around us on show day or just along the ride.