Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The Reins of Our Lives

UV 2291/10000 The Reins of Our Lives
I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons
Psalm 16 v 7

A horse is ten times stronger than the average human being. Yet, it is controlled with reins by a human being. This implies that the human being is many times more powerful than the horse in intellectual terms. If then a horse is to be controlled and guided with reins, how much more do we humans need guidance and direction? In the absence of such guidance, we are like a wild horse, without rider and purpose. The Lord, Our Creator and Redeemer is our rider. His instructions written and passed down to us through the Word give us wise counsel and direction. His commands are our reins that keep us on track on the paths He leads us on. His word is apt, precise, relevant and useful for our lives. His example is our inspiration and His promises our spiritual food. It is through these reins that the Lord reigns in our lives. When He says go to the right we should go right and when He says go to the left, we should go left. When He asks us to say Yes, we should say Yes and when He asks us to say No, we should say No. Like a horse obeys only its handler, we should always obey the Lord and not our own impulse or instinct. Sometimes, when we forget and go off on our own, He will pull the reins tighter and get us back on course.

To carry the metaphor further, just as a horse is pleased with its master and grateful to him for feeding him, caring for him and for treating him well, we need to bless the Lord for giving us wisdom, strength, spiritual food and timely help. The horse is sensitive and obedient to every nudge of the rider, every pull on its reins, every shift to the right or the left. Likewise, we need to be sensitive and obedient to the move of the Holy Spirit. Unlike a horse that is controlled by a pair of visible reins, we have invisible reins running to our thoughts, our emotions, our mouths, our eyes, our limbs, our hearts, our wills.

The horse is the only creature that sleeps while standing on its feet. It is watchful and alert all the time. Its strength is meant to endure during peacetime as well as wartime. We too are built to endure. Even in the dark periods of our lives, we are to stick to the truths and lessons taught to us by the Lord. It is said that Alexander the Great tamed his wild horse Bucephalus by turning its face to see its own shadow. Bucephalus means “bull-headed.” That is what most humans are ab initio. But when Christ enters our hearts and rules or rides our lives by means of the Holy Spirit, we become Christ-headed. The Lord will cause us to see or sense His shadow or His presence in our lives. That experience will tame our wild desires, emotions, thoughts so that we will bless the Lord with every thought, word and action of our lives. He will teach us to cross different difficult periods of our lives and emerge victorious like a trained warrior’s horse. We will be able to take leaps of faith across dangerous ravines, negotiate narrow passes and cross mountain streams of our lives.

Prateep V Philip

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