I’ve always liked horses. I haven’t had much contact with them mind you. I have ridden a few in various places along the way. I love to rub under their neck where their heart is. A horse trainer once told me they like that. I’ve done so a couple of times and I’ve not been kicked in the gut, so I’m thinking it might be true.
Recently, Elsie and I were with our friend Bruno on a ministry trip to Europe. We were making our way back to Italy from Poland. Somewhere along that flight I had a fleeting thought, “Lord, wouldn’t it be nice to run into a horse? I’d love to be able to spend some time up close and personal with a horse.” Random, eh?
We arrive Venice where we were going to be for a few days. We’re picked up by Gianluca and Valli, our hosts. They live in Santa Maria di Sala in the greater Venice area. They take us to their home and we hangout, go for a quick tour of the town, have a rich home-cooked Italian meal – bellesima! – then they drive Elsie and me to the B&B where we’ll be staying. It was close to midnight by this time so we decided to go straight to bed.
Next morning we wake up, have breakfast and then head outside to wait for Bruno and our friends to come pick us up for the day’s activities. As we looked around in the light of day we realized that we were in the middle of gorgeous farmland. A couple of dogs were yapping away behind a fence. As we looked closer we realized that there was a horse in a stable in the fenced-in area! What a surprise! Didn’t expect that when we said we’re going to Venice that we would be staying in a farming community and that there would be a horse!
I went over to the fence and called the horse over. Lo and behold! She came clopping over. Poor dogs were completely ignored. This horse with grey-blue eyes bonded instantaneously with us. I made sure she heard the gospel. Elsie actually prayed over her in tongues. She almost fell out in the Spirit – just kidding!
We found out later that this horse’s name was India! There’s another whole prophetic message that the Lord was speaking to me personally about this. But what I wanted to draw out for you in this story are these points. I pray that this little encounter – which turned out to be big for my heart – will encourage you wherever you are in the journey of life:
- Our Father is so attentive to every single detail of our lives. He is aware of even the fleeting thoughts that alight upon our minds and then are gone like a butterfly in a garden. We all know this to be true from the revelation of God in the Bible – one of the features that defines him as God is that He knows everything. In his goodness as a Loving Father, he gives us experiences like these to plant the revelation even deeper into the core of our being!
- King David, our mentor in understanding the heart of God, says this in Psalm 37:4: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” And I would add, even the faintest of desires. I remind myself that I was not on my knees praying and fasting for breakthrough to see a horse! Our Father is so attentive to even the whispers of our heart. Sometimes, he surprises us with answers like this to remind us of his nearness and attentiveness. Love it!
- He also knows which whispers to response to, the ones that would go deep and make a lasting impact. When God does things like this for you, I recommend that you cherish them in your heart. Let them feed your love affair with Jesus. Share them with friends, family and anyone else who might need to be reminded of the kind of God that really exists. He is willing to take time out from all the crises of this broken world to let “little old me / you” remember that he loves to give us kisses on the forehead, like a loving Father likes to do.
Father, thank you for giving me this experience that reminds me you are so close and so attentive to every detail of my life. I pray for those reading this that you would reveal your love, closeness, attentiveness and adequacy to them in fresh new ways. I pray that you would speak deeply to their hearts in ways that only you and they would know. Lord, surprise them with evidence of your goodness, kindness and fatherly care. Let these overtures of love and affection awaken greater levels of intimacy with you, Jesus. Amen!