How to get what you need without chasin’ it.

by Kevin on May 5, 2010

“No matter what I do, I just can’t seem to get him to come to me.”

These were the words a new horse owner spoke to me at work one day. He told me of having to chase his horse all over the pen just to try to get a halter on him. Even when he did get his hands on his horse, the horse would sometimes pull away from him at the last minute.

I told him I would be glad to come over and see if I could help him after work. We pulled up to his house that evening and I could see a bay geldin’ standing on the far side of a pretty good sized pen. I told my friend to go in and try to catch him so I could see what was going on.

As soon as he entered the pen, the horse went to the far corner and stood facing away from him. As he walked up to his horse, it wheeled and ran to the other corner. I watched as this process repeated itself over and over and over.

My friends attitude towards the horse swung widely in all directions. One minute he would try the gentle approach with many smooth words and slow easy steps. When that didn’t work, he tried the stern father approach. He wasn’t being mean, just forceful. Before it was over with, he was about ready to start the cussin’ and throwin’ rocks approach.

I had finally seen enough and asked my friend to come out of the pen before he hurt the horse or the horse hurt him. He stomped out of the pen and shoved the halter in my hand and told me to go in and see if I could catch him. I made him no promises, but I told him I would try.

The first thing I did was to drop the halter right inside the gate. I then walked into the middle of the pen and knelt down and picked up a handful of dirt. I let the dirt slowly drain out of my hand and then repeated the process over and over and over. It took about 10 minutes, but finally this horse couldn’t stand it any longer. He walked over to me and smelled of my hat. I patted him on the nose and walked out of the pen.

I gave the horse about 5 minutes to nose around the pen and I walked in and hunkered down a little closer to him this time. He didn’t come up to me again, but he didn’t try to run off either. I repeated this process of in and out of the pen about three times. Finally, I walked in and went straight to the horse. He never moved a muscle. I scratched on him and told him what a good boy he was and then turned around and walked off.

The horse followed me to the gate and I picked up the halter and put it on him. I told my friend that chasin’ a horse will just make him run from you. I didn’t tell him that it doesn’t work every time with every horse, but he didn’t need to hear what didn’t work, he needed something that did.

1 Kings 19:11-13

11 “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord  was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.

Many times in our lives, we chase God all over the place tryin’ to get a halter on his blessings so our prayers will be answered. We chase and chase and run and fret until we are just totally frustrated. We cry out to him and want to experience all those awesome moments like when we first gave our lives to him.

If you want to really experience God’s power, why don’t you just kneel down in the middle of a horse pen and wait for the gentle whisper. When we give up, stop talking, stop chasin’, and start listening, then God will reveal himself like a warm breath on the back of our necks.

Share with others a time when you finally gave up and started listening for the gentle whisper.

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  • The Hebrew word that is translated “gentle whisper” in this passage literally means “thin nothing.” We are often waiting for God to speak through us in the big event and He often shows up in the smallest ways. Great words of encouragement that I needed to read today!

    • Kevin

      Thanks Nolan,
      I too am guilty of waiting for the grand entrance of God most of the time. He amazes me that in the “thin nothing” is where we can find “everything”.

  • The couple of posts I have read hear have been great. I like your message!

    This is one of my favorite passages of scripture. Too many times I look for God in the grand and fail to stop and listen for that still small voice.

    • Kevin

      Amen to that!!
      I think duct tape is a great spiritual tool. Cover my mouth with it and just listen. Thanks Larry.

  • Sometimes I find it so hard to seek God and pray during my regularly scheduled devotions. I am trying to speak to God and hear from Him but failing.
    I have found that sometimes I can just go outside, take a walk, listen quietly to God’s creation, listen to the words of scripture echoing in my mind–then shhhh… God speaks right to my heart.
    I often find that in trying, I fail. And in surrendering, God wins.
    –Richard

  • I very often feel that we can not hear God, because we are running around too much. In the pace of life today, where everything is instant, we have lost the ability to sit still for 5 minutes and to just listen for God. (I tried it the other day, without thinking about anything else, and it was darn difficult)

    We need to stop, and wait on the Lord more, then we will maybe be able to start hearing Him.

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