"What do you prefer?
Shall I come to you with a whip,
or in love and with a gentle spirit?"
1 Corinthians 4:21
1 Corinthians 4:21
This summer and last, Gabrielle has been blessed by her Heavenly Father and her earthly daddy to be able to participate in a week-long horseback riding camp. All week, they learn and refine their equestrian skills. The highlight of the week is the show on Friday afternoon when all the young riders demonstrate their horsemanship for family and friends.Each afternoon when I would pick Gabrielle up from camp, she would excitedly tell me which horses she had the opportunity to guide that day. She was learning the personalities and nuances of each of the steeds and how each one responded to her signals. Something she said to me one day as we galloped home from the farm in my car will stay with me forever.
"Mommy, one of the horses I was riding today was not responding to my leading when I was using the crop (small riding whip) to get his attention. After spending more time with him, I learned that the horse responded to my gentle nudges instead of more firm commands."
I want to respond to gentle nudges.
God's gentle nudges.
I want to spend lavish time with Him such that I hear His whispers.
"...learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls."
Just like the horse responding in obedience to Gabrielle's gentle nudges, I desire my heart to be yielded so desperately to the Holy Spirit that I respond to God's whispers in quick and fruitful obedience. As I respond to His leading immediately when I feel His gentle nudge, I will run in the path of His commands with a freed heart, and I won't require a more firm command. "I have run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free." Psalm 119:32
"My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27
Oh Lord, keep my heart humble and teachable so that I can hear Your soft whispers and respond to Your gentle nudges. I pray that I don't often require more firm direction from you. May I always listen for Your tender voice and follow only You.
My young equestrian also unknowingly caused me to pause and reflect on my parenting commands. How often am I harsh when rather a gentle nudge will usher my children to obedience? Lord, by Your grace, allow my heart, my life and my mothering to reflect Your gentleness. "...we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7
Watching Gabrielle in Friday afternoon's show and rejoicing in all she learned that week at horseback riding camp, I couldn't help but thank the Lord for what He continues to teach me through our children. I am humbled and blessed to trot through life with them. They guide me as much as I guide them sometimes!
As He reigns in our hearts, may we respond to His gentle nudges and may we rein our children according to His truth.
" Let your gentleness be evident to all.
"...the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is of great worth in God’s sight."
1 Peter 3:4