When I was a little girl, barely speaking, I was fascinated with a lamp on my parents’ nightstand. Its ceramic base depicted a scene that I can no longer describe, but I do still remember one detail about it.
I would point to the lamp and say, “Horsey!” My mother would respond, “No, that’s a lamp!” I would insist, “Horsey!” This exchange continued several times until one day, my mother looked closely at that lamp and there she saw what I did — a tiny brown horse, with minuscule brush strokes depicting its flowing mane and tail.
I think horses appeal to our little girl souls because they represent how God created us to be — courageous, strong, and beautiful.
In the Book of Job, God lays out to Job several marvels of his creation, including the horse (Job 39:19-20, 22a):
Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
… He laughs at fear and is not dismayed.
Compare his language to the ideal woman described in Proverbs 31:25:
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she laughs at the time to come.
As image bearers of God, maybe we are drawn to the way horses embody both power and gentleness. But that gentleness comes with training and trust.
A young horse must learn obedience and discipline and to focus on his master (or his mistress). His natural spiritedness and power is put under authority. The Old English verb for breaking in a horse was “to meek.”
And the Greek equivalent is “praus,” the word used by Jesus in Matthew 5:5: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Jesus wasn’t talking about the weak, as our current language would imply. Rather, he was referring to those who are strong in spirit but surrendered to him, those who avoid harshness because they know the love of the Savior, and those who know freedom from fear because their trust is in him.
Meekness, like gentleness, is strength under control. It is being exactly who God created us to be but willingly giving ourselves back to him. It is that intersection where we will “delight in abundant peace” (Psalm 37:11).
Are you spiritually like a wild young horse? Or have you given your loyalty to Jesus?
Do you think of yourself as courageous, strong and beautiful? Share a courageous act from your past, a time when you showed strength, or a moment when you were beautifully gentle.
Did you have a childhood fascination with horses? What encouraging words would you share with that little girl you once were?