As my kids and I pulled  into the driveway after a long day away from home, the last thing we expected was to see a horse by the hay shed.  That wasn’t where he belonged. Even worse, his neck and head were jammed down into a large barrel…the barrel of 250 pounds of feed that was horribly moldy, awaiting the feed store truck to pick it up. “Oh no! Breezy has gotten out!”

Sure enough, our appaloosa horse, Breezy, had popped the screw top off of not just one barrel of moldy stable mix, but TWO. He had carefully munched all the molded feed off the top of the stash before going on to what was next on his buffet list! By the time we arrived, he had packed away a considerable amount of moldy feed!

A quick call to the equine vet and, within the hour, I had the trailer attached, and Breezy loaded up. I raced Old Reliable–our tried and true trail horse who had taught my family members to ride and “respect” horses–to the vet about 45 minutes away. Experience had taught me that a pricey treatment was in store.  Without it, Breezy might be in danger of colicking. With horses, this is a serious thing–horses can die when they colic!

Some $400 later (we got off easy this time!), I meandered my way back home through the canyon. Breezy was a bit woozy from the “mickey” he had been slipped enabling them to “tube and oil” him.

Over the next few days, we discovered that Breezy had a regular escape route (he repeated his offense!). He nonchalantly blew right through the electric fence in one particular location. In that spot the charge was diminished enough that the shock didn’t bother him nearly as much as getting access to (molded?) feed rewarded him!

Breezy during one of his “jail breaks”– heading in to the hay shed!

We have since amped up the fence (literally) and added a fence post or two, making escape less appealing.

During these misadventures, however, the Lord has again used my animals to shine His mirror of truth into my life.

I have come to realize that I am often like Breezy, blowing through boundaries that God has established in my life because of His love for me.

Far from being perfect, sovereign, and all-wise like my Heavenly Master, I am an imperfect “Master” for Breezy. Even so,  boundaries that I establish for him are there for his good. Without those boundaries, he will eat all kinds of things that might kill him. Rather than respond to the “zap” of the fence, though, he pursued the instant gratification that he experienced on the other side of the fence.

How often do I do the same?

In fact, I know I often resent the boundaries that the Lord has established for me. And, if I am honest, I even resent Him at times. I wonder how often I plunge myself into “moldy stable mix” when God intends to set a bounteous table before me at the right time? How much damage do I  do to myself because of my pursuit of instant gratification?

How about you?

Can you relate to Breezy? Will you put up with a little discomfort for the sake of instant gratification? Are you like me at all, resenting boundaries that are there for your own good? Do you struggle with submitting to the hand of a perfectly good Master?

I think today I will rethink things a bit. When I know I have had enough or when I sense the Spirit of God leading me to eat something different than what my taste buds prefer, I think I will remember the image of Breezy that is indelibly marked in my mind–head and neck down inside the barrel, sucking up moldy stable mix. I don’t want to be like that. God has something so much better in mind.