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Meditations by John Dean

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Hairless Horse

(Psalm 25:20 KJV) O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

Since the soul represents one's mind, will, and emotions then a cry for help (such as in our text), is usually sincere. The mind, will and emotions could also be known as the "triplets" of the soul which give birth to self-preservation, pride and selfishness.

One's emotions are like the steering wheel of a car. They can steer you in a positive direction in praising the Lord, or they can steer you in a negative direction in preserving one's soulish desires.

It is easy to become spiritually emotional when in the presence of God while thinking about all He has done for us. This type of spiritual emotion is healthy because it is born out of a personal relationship with the Lord. Being in His presence often releases such emotions.

The flesh (or soulish) type of emotion can be stirred by many things- such as the fear of losing something or by feeling ashamed. The fact is, it takes a lifetime of dying to one's self to finally bring the soul (the mind, will, and emotions), into subjection to the Lord.

(1Corinthians 15:31 NIV) I die every day-I mean that, brothers-just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Experiences like the one I am going to share are often the spotlight that God uses to reveal to us our progress in the dying to self issue. In the case of the following story, it clearly shows that, at the time, my own self-preservation was higher on my list than enjoying my son's participation in competition. Self-preservation is often a blinder that keeps one from seeing one's self as clearly as others see them.

When my son was young he had a beautiful "Triple A" rated quarter horse. The registered name of this horse was Arkie Joe because he was sired by a powerful race horse named Arkie.

My son loved entering competitive horse shows, competing in barrel racing and other timed events in what is commonly known in Texas as "play-days." Because Arkie Joe was such a high powered horse and my son such a good rider, they won about one hundred trophies.

Things were going well until one day Arkie Joe got some kind of fungus or lice and lost all his hair. I was told by a local farmer (who was known for his home remedies) that I should rub Arkie Joe down with bacon grease, because that would cure him.

This remedy had been passed down from his grandfather so he knew that it would work. He told me, "It's a lot less expensive than taking Arkie Joe to the vet," so I thought I would give it a try.

A couple of days later my son had a big horse show scheduled that he really wanted to compete in. I gave Arkie Joe a good "bacon grease job" and away we went to the horse show.

When it was time for my son to go into the arena and compete in the barrel racing event he came through the gates "ninety to nothing" on a horse with no hair, that smelled like bacon. Arkie Joe was the ugliest horse there but he ran like greased lighting.

A more appropriate name for Arkie Joe at that time would have probably been Bacon Bit. As a matter of fact, with no hair Arkie Joe looked like an overgrown lizard wearing a saddle. Only a mother could love something that ugly.

After Arkie Joe made one run through the arena I think everyone in the stands headed to the concession stand for a bacon sandwich.

The point I am trying to make is that in a situation like this (a situation that makes one ashamed), it is easy for "self-preservation" to come into the picture. Perhaps that is what was taking place in our text when this prayer was prayed. "O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee."

It is amazing how sincere one is about putting their trust in the Lord when they think their soul (flesh) is being exposed as mine was that day. Even though I was very proud of my son's ability to compete at such a high level...I was clearly ashamed of the hairless horse.

Father,

Even though we go through life praying the Psalms 25:20 prayer (or at least thinking it), You always help us go through such soulish challenges. Lord thank You for Your patience with us in our maturing journey of replacing self-preservation with faith in You.

Amen

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