Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, You who have done great things. Who, O God, is like you? Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. Psalm 71:19-21 (NIV)
I do not think I will ever get over the thrill of seeing my horse load into a trailer. It seems like such a simple thing to the unwitting observer. Pull down the trailer ramp, point the horse in the direction of the trailer opening and in he goes. Horses do it all the time. It is something most people take for granted. But it is not an easy task to learn and one I will never undervalue. It took months of work, sometimes four or five hour sessions to teach Trucker that the big dark hole would not swallow him up. Horses have poor depth perception, and I might as well have been asking him to enter a cavern. He had no idea what lurked within its depths. At first, he would not even go near the trailer. Gradually, he became used to being around it. His steps were tentative. I applauded when he put one hoof on the outer ledge of the trailer opening. The first time he went in completely, I held my breath and felt like shouting. Once he learned to get in and out with ease, and I was assured that he could do it in a variety of situations, we began going on trail rides. I could be confident that when the ride was over, he would get back in the trailer to come home! Now, we can travel all over our area taking in the sights and participating in special events. My life is so enriched because of the opportunities, and the pleasure that riding brings me. Even though it has been two years since those long, intense training sessions, I am still grateful each time he walks inside the trailer. No force, no yelling, no beating. Open the door and in he goes. I doubt I would be so appreciative if he had known how to load into the trailer when I bought him. Instead, every time he does, I recall all the work, all the sweat, and all the patience that it took to bring us to that place. I am profoundly thankful. So many times, we wish that life didn’t have to be so hard. Why can’t the job be easier? Why aren’t the children more cooperative? Why do the bills pile up and the cars break? Why does it rain when I wish for sunshine? Why does my body ache and my hair fall out? But, if it weren’t for the hard times, we would not appreciate the good ones. Instead of defeat, our troubles produce joy as we watch God bring about good despite the hardship. When the work is done, the children raised, the storm over, and health restored, we must express our gratitude for His Hand in our life. In overcoming the darkness through God’s grace, He puts beauty and joy into our lives. Remember the depths from which He has saved you and look to the sky. See to what heights He has raised you.