Maybe you saw the cute YouTube video of the horse that was hesitant to walk into the water. After a few unsuccessful tries to encourage the horse, the rider dismounted and gently and patiently led the horse slowly to the water’s edge. The horse put first one foot, then another into the water. Then it stomped its foot making big splashes. Seeming to enjoy this, the horse walked completely into the water, and delighted in making many more splashes!
A cousin of mine says she has experienced the same thing with her horses. She shares that horses are not so much afraid of water but hesitant because they don’t understand it. Once they get in the water, they will enjoy it so much they will lie down and roll, saddle and all, if you aren’t careful!
I’ve known a number of people who are hesitant to go into the water. I was too. When I was in college I took a class in Beginning Swimming. Then another in Intermediate, then Advanced, and finally a course in Life Saving. The more time I spent in the water, the more understanding I gained and the less hesitancy I had.
The saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.” It seems to me that once the horse realizes how thirsty they are and the more gentle introduction they have, they become more interested in discovering how refreshing the water can be.
Think about people who are hesitant to come to the living water God offers. Our job is not to make people drink. But I think our job is to help them realize how thirsty they are and to provide them with the opportunity to experience the excitement that the living water of Jesus brings.
Does God quench your thirst in a most satisfied way? When others see that your thirst is quenched by all God brings to your life, they become more aware of their own thirst. Yes, coming to the water to drink is urgent. But we need to be gentle and patient as we help those around us overcome their hesitancy to enter the water.
The horse comes to the water because he trusts the trainer. What happens when others see that God is enough for us, as long as we have our football? God – and sports – is enough. God is enough as long as I can pay my bills. God – and my bike/car/(fill in the blank) – are enough.
Enjoy life. But make sure your own growing relationship with your Heavenly Father consumes your desires and quench your own thirst. Over time others may come to understand the value of thirsting for the gospel hope that is evident in your own life.
Taste and see that the Lord is great. – Psalm 34:8