Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Week Ten - Holding the Reins

Beside the Well

            Years ago I learned a secret about keeping life on a level emotional keel.  A few weeks ago, I forgot that lesson.  I let emotions take the lead and wound up on the vicious downward spiral leading to nowhere.  Well, not anywhere—it leads to the bottom of the pit where I found myself languishing in the mud with no equipment to get back to the top.
            After a few days I grew tired of being in the quagmire and gave myself a good scolding.  After reminding myself whose I was and where I could be if I chose obedience, God brought an event to my mind that helped me get hold of the situation.
            My friend, Carol, and I once had the opportunity to go horseback riding in Wales.  Neither of us were novices.  We had both ridden many times before. Anyway, we listened to the instruction, dawned our obligatory riding hats, and mounted our steeds for an afternoon’s ride.  However, these rental horses knew the route and were bored.  Mine wanted to scrap me along the fence and munch on the side grasses. 
            I complained to the riding leader and his comment was, “Well, they know an inexperienced rider and will take advantage.”  That was it!  I was not an inexperienced rider.  Letting the horse eat grass from the sides of the path or wander at will meant I was not in control of the animal.  So, I took those reins and let that horse know I was the master.
            I decided to apply the same principle to my emotions that day.  So, I got up and girded myself.  It was time to take the reins and not be driven by emotions.  I began to look at Bible verses about bridles. 
            In Psalm 39 David tells of trying to bridle his emotions, but the pressure was too great—great chapter to read when you are about to burst.  Psalm 32:8 & 9 tell us God guides with his eye—the need of a bridle indicates a lack of understanding and godly obedience.  James 1:26 and 3:2 say bridling our tongue is an image of self-control and leads to a greater control of life.
            That’s when I remembered the secret I had learned—or not learned—so many years ago.
            Proverbs 25:28 “He that hath no rule over his own spirit…is broken down.” Oh my!  I was not ruling my spirit.  I was letting my emotions have free rein.  I was broken down, vulnerable to the attacks of Satan, and not in the right place.
            How had I wound up there?  Poor choices in responses to controversy?  Stubbornness?  Inner boiling anger?  Personal insecurities, fears and jealousies?  Lies I had believed? You know, the spiral of thoughts that condemn and defeat?
            I had stepped outside of truth and was having a great pity party.  Trouble was, I was the only one there. 
            So that day I took hold of the reins and made my emotional horse walk straight back to the place where it was supposed to be.  It didn’t happen without a struggle and some real prayer and determination, but I knew the truth.  God can only rescue me when I want to be rescued. Pouting and howling on my bed is not the answer.  I have to do my part. 

            Taking hold of the reins of truth, acting in truth, and continuing to act in truth, that is the answer.  My emotions will come back in line as long as I keep them on a tight rein.  Woman, get hold of yourself!

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