On the Thin Within forums some of us have lamented that we think we “get it” and then something in the way we live indicates we don’t “get it.” Some of us have concluded that this is like the layers of an onion. This is a response I posted there…if you aren’t a horse person, it may make little sense. Sorry!

This “layers of an onion” thing is something that God is showing me with one of my horses. He often uses what I see in *their* training to reveal to me what he is doing or wants to do in *mine*…my training in righteousness.

One of my horses, featured at

this web page (also featured in a Chicken Soup book for the Horse Lovers Soul Volume 2! and at this BLM page) is teaching me a LOT about this. For five years, I haven’t asked a lot of him. Why? Because he was clearly formerly abused and has “special needs.”

When I have asked things of him, he has almost always pleasantly surprised me about how willing he is to offer a try. I delight in his willingness, even if it isn’t perfect.
Even the words I just typed remind me of my PERFECT Heavenly Father (and I am no where near like Him) and how He views me–that he delights in any attempt to please Him that I offer up…my “try.” Even when it is imperfect, he looks to the heart of my try and smiles…In fact, scripture says he delights over me with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
This spring, Dodger went to training. At the ripe old age of 21 he is being “restarted” with the same trainer who worked with him at the camp mentioned at the web page referred to above.

Every time I see him now (once or twice a week), I am astonished at two things… 1.) His continued try and how much “progress” he has made and 2.) How the more he moves forward, the more the layers of the onion are peeled back to reveal yet *more* new things that he needs help with.

God has used this to show me my own “plight” if you will. Yes, I have released all my extra weight, but he has done that wonderful new thing and, in the process, peeled back the layers of the onion…to reveal so many new things I need help with. (This seems to happen daily, too.) Oh, how it blows me away! I feel at once exposed and cleansed…a strange mixture of wonder and challenge.

But one of the things he has done is kindle a hope that I have never had before. He has enabled me to see that with every new situation, every challenge, every trial, every difficult person, I can anticipate that God is at work, forming and shaping my character. There are yet blessings to be recognized, gratitude to be given, worship to offer!

I don’t find “not arriving” as painful as I once did. Yes, I frustrate myself at times, as always. But at the same time, I see that God continues to do a new thing…and another new thing…and another…and another…and that is what Eternity is about, after all! New thing upon new thing! Moment upon moment! Ya know? So how cool is it that I get to experience it now, on earth..just a taste of it, but a taste nonetheless.

I can see better now why Paul said that he delighted in his weaknesses–not to stay weak, but to cling all the more to the strength of Christ and to get to taste that strength with ever-increasing intensity and awareness.Don’t know if this makes sense.
Amazing what God can use my mustang to teach me!