Watch the Rear

by Terri Gillespie

The prudent see danger and hide, but the naïve keep going and pay the penalty. Proverbs 27:12 TLV

A friend of mine is a counselor who uses horses for therapy. She has worked successfully with PTSD patients and those with developmental and emotional disabilities. A few years ago, she began working with “ordinary” folks who want to learn how to identify issues they may struggle with, in order to overcome them — to be more of the person GOD created them to be.

I like horses — from a distance. They are magnificent creatures. I respect the work she does. However, I have a fear of horses. I come by that fear from past events — my mother-in-love died of a heart attack chasing one of their horses, and my grandfather had a horse fall on top of him and subsequently died.

So, when my friend “blessed” me with a complimentary retreat, you must know that I loved her and trusted enough to consider the gift. Nevertheless, I only agreed once she assured me the session did not include riding. All exercises with the horses were with everyone’s feet on the ground.

Was I still nervous? Yes.

One of the exercises was to move a tethered horse with the light touch of your hand on their backside. The horse will only move if you were calm and gentle. I was amazed when the horse actually moved at my touch.

My friend then said to go to the other side of the horse and move the horse back to his original position.

My first thought was, “Don’t walk behind the horse. It’s dangerous.” And what did I do? I ignored that thought and proceeded to walk around his ample rump. My friend calmly stopped me and said, “I know we didn’t discuss not walking behind a horse, but it’s not a good idea for an inexperienced person to do so.”

At that point, I confessed to having had the warning thought. She asked me, “Why did you ignore your own warning?”

My friends, at that time I had no clue. Why would I deliberately ignore the warning? Not trust the wise internal counsel?

Those questions I took to my Heavenly Father, where He showed me things from my past that caused me to not trust the discernment He had given me. Mostly, the root comes from my insecurities. My default is to doubt I’m special enough to hear from Him. I mean, really, “Why me?”

But that is a lie. Over time the Holy Spirit identified the lies and helped me yank them out. Without the lies, I can better hear GOD’s truth.

The practice of doing this is part of my sanctification process.

Have you ignored those little warning messages from the Holy Spirit? Over the years I’ve learned that when I do, and there is a negative outcome, I take note—not to beat myself up about it, but to have Him help me identify the root of my inability. I need discernment to know He is showing me something to keep me from of harm.

One thing has become clear, the difference between prudence and naivety is whether we pay attention or ignore GOD’s voice of wisdom.

May we pay attention to GOD’s warnings, my friends. And no more “walking behind the horse.”

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Award-winning author and speaker Terri Gillespie writes stories of faith to nurture souls. Her novels, devotionals, and blogs have drawn readers to hunger for a deeper relationship with their Heavenly Father, and His Son Jesus. She no longer walks behind horses.

Making Eye Contact with God is a women’s devotional that will enable you to really see God in a new and fresh way. Using real life anecdotes, combined with Scripture, author Terri Gillespie reveals God’s heart for women everywhere, as she softly speaks of the ways in which women see Him.

Join the conversation: When is the last time you walked behind the horse?

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12 thoughts on “Watch the Rear

  1. Really good! I too had a period in my life where I never listened to my own gut warnings which I know were a combo of my own wisdom and the Holy Spirit bringing that wisdom to the forefront and I too did not listen due to insecurities. Mine came from always being told I was wrong or my feelings were wrong. After you while a numbness settles over that gut instinct and we become deaf to it or disregard its value.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is so true, Teresa. Isn’t our Daddy wonderful that He sends His Holy Spirit to help us walk through those past hurts with Him holding us. I’m reminded of that saying: He loves us where we are, but doesn’t leave us there. Thanks for sharing! God bless you!

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  3. I, too, have had negative outcomes from simple disobedience as a youth. Some difficult lessons have been learned over the years as I have grown in Adonai and tried to listen to His quiet voice. Thanks for your words, Terri. They are an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Before the holidays I decided to put my serving ware and glasses in the dishwasher as I had not used them in awhile and decided to add my plastic cutting board that I use for veggies in the mix. Once I set it to start and closed it to start, I pressed the extra hot button so everything would be extra clean. I immediately felt a nudge not to put the cutting board in but ignored it. When the wash was done and opened the door the cutting board had dislodged from it place fallen on the bottom heating element and damaged the dishwasher.

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    1. Ouch! That was a painful lesson, Guadalupe. But, sometimes those are the most powerful lessons, aren’t they. Thanks for sharing how even what seems like a simple nudge, can have real consequences. God bless you!

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  5. Great lesson, Terri. That “gut warning” is often the Holy Spirit and to ignore it is not wise. As a teen one of my friends owned a horse. I knew walking behind it was not safe, but my friend said it was fine so I listened to her instead of that inner voice. The horse kicked me on my thigh. Fortunately I did not get hurt. A life lesson for sure!

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  6. Whoa, Crystal! Glad you weren’t seriously hurt. What a hard lesson. Those difficult, sometimes painful lesson can help us better remember in the future. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. What a beautiful testimony of your friend, so powerful. So sorry to read about your families accidents. Such a difficult lesson to learn. I love horses, they are magnificently beautiful. Many years ago my father took my siblings and I to his friends horse farm to actually ride for the first time. My youngest brother, a young teen and deaf (he passed in his sleep@49) mounted the horse and proceeded to take off towards a wooded area screaming at the top of his lungs for help!! Needless to say, I had just climb up onto the saddle and my heart was racing with excitement until I saw what happened to him, I went from excitement to great fear in a heartbeat and begging my father to not let go of the horse!! It shook me to the core and I knew that I wasn’t ready and climbed off shaking. I had a “feeling” it’s not what I wanted to do and to this day, I’ve never mounted another horse. By the way, my brother was rescued and brought to safety. Life lessons are definitely a part of learning to listen and not be stubborn in our ways. In conclusion: The only horse I’ll ride is when we come riding on a horse with our Lord and King to rule and reign with Him. 🙌💗🙌

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    1. Wow! Diane, that is quite a story! I’m glad you and your brother made it through unscathed. There were other horse incidents that also kept me from riding, but like you, I would love a ride on that white horse when Jesus returns!

      Thanks for sharing these great insights. God bless you!

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  8. Such important insights. I tend to be naive and lack common sense. I’m so glad that through years of Bible study and spiritual growth, I pay more attention to the Holy Spirit’s directions. Thank you, Terri!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, Kathy! Once the Holy Spirit brings our attention to the problem we can recognize it more. My default is naivety, or insecurity, but I don’t have to stay there. I can choose to put that aside. Thanks for your insights!

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