Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. 2 Corinthians 13:5 (The Message)
Every six months, horses must be vaccinated and be checked out by a vet to make sure that they are healthy. They need “licenses” just like dogs. While they don’t get a tag to wear, they do get a certificate with their photograph on it. It proves that they have had a blood test called a Coggins Test and are free of equine infectious anemia (EIA). There is no vaccine or cure for EIA, a very dangerous virus transmitted through insect bites or shared needles. Our horses also get rabies, East and West Nile virus, influenza, tetanus and rhinopneumonitis vaccines spaced out over the year. In addition, our vet checks their weight, heart, teeth, gums, hooves and skin. While some people take their horses to the vet’s office, our vet makes “barn calls.” I don’t know about the horses, but Andrea and I look forward to her visits because we are enjoy them so much (at least routine visits-it is no fun to have to call the vet out for an emergency.) Our vet, Dr. Beth Brown of Braden River Equine, and her assistant, Kathy, know so much about horses that Andrea and I learn something every time they come. Dr. Brown is very good about giving us a variety of options for treatment, ranging from what she calls “the redneck method” which involves household products and the least invasive treatment all the way up to x-rays and additional blood work. When Trucker was having all his skin problems, Dr. Brown suggested several times that I have allergy tests done. I avoided paying for them until after several visits she finally talked me into the investment in his health. I am so glad I did. I was treating him for insect allergies, but it turned out he was allergic to the food I was feeding him: apples, oats and alfalfa hay. Now, a year later, his coat is very sleek with only some reactions to insect bites which are normal this time of year. Today, she spent quite a lot of time looking at Trucker’s skin and exclaiming over how he has improved. I think she is as pleased as I am with the results of changing his diet. When Dr. Brown leaves, Andrea and I always say to each other how much we love Dr. Brown. She is very thorough and when she leaves, we know our horses are healthy and if they aren’t, how to help them get that way. Just like a horse, we humans need regular examinations both physical and spiritual. The test we need to take is to make sure our “walk equals our talk.” In other words, what we believe should be evident for all to see through our actions. When I found out Trucker was allergic to certain foods, I adjusted his feed. When I fall short of being a Christlike servant, it’s time for a change as well. Examine yourself. When you fail, God can transform you if you let Him!