Another spiritual lesson was given to me this morning as I was cleaning my horses stalls. I have barn help five days a week . This woman is so thankful for barn help !!! As I was walking in the barn Saturday afternoon , the stalls looked clean at first glance because of the new shavings that were on top. But, as I passed by I knew they were not clean because of the smell. New shavings usually smell like cedar and this was NOT the case. When I sifted through the shaving they were soaked underneath with urine. To get it all out some of the brand new shavings were wasted. I had to use lime to kill the scent and then put fresh shavings down. If you don’t clean a horse stall right it can lead to health issues, hoof problems and respiratory problems for the horses from breathing in the ammonia . You can’t just dump new shavings on top of old waste and expect everything to be good. There is something to be said about doing the job right from the bottom up. Yes, I had to have a talk with the barn help and let him know the job has to be done right. The horses depend on you. I depend on you. There will always be times we must inspect what we expect.
As I was stripping the stalls, I really felt the Lord was using this every day task to teach me another lesson. We can act like we have it all together at times. On the surface everything looks good but underneath there lies major problems that needs to be addressed. We really do not know what other people are battling and we are all so quick to judge. Pastor Layne Schranz preached this weekend and he said, “When we get close to people and know their stories, grace increases and judgment decreases”. When he said that it reminded me of a quote , “Do not judge, you do not know what storm I have asked her to walk through.” It was signed from God. Truly a powerful thought.
So what’s in the barn that must be removed? What is in YOUR stall that needs to be removed not the other persons stall, our stall? Well, for some individuals it can be certain uncomfortable feelings, agitated thoughts, fears, doubts, uncertainties, painful memories, or disruptive beliefs that are causing them mental conflict and worry, emotional disharmony, physical illness, or spiritual discord . Putting on a beautiful dress just like clean shavings is not going to solve the problem if we are not clean. Saving everything is fine and walking by with stinking thinking like the stalls were on Saturday is not going to work in the long run. We have to get to the bottom of the problem. Break the bonds of the enemy. Remove the strongholds and the unhealthy thinking that we have allowed to be buried underneath the surface for so long.
When we face our fears, our issues, the chains start to rattle and begin to break. Freedom starts to ring. When we renew our minds with the word of God, it transforms us. We slowly but surely have the old ways stripped away and we become more righteous, more Christ like as we continue forward in our journey. In Isaiah 26:3 it tells us, You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in YOU.
When we surrender all. When we allow him to be Lord of all in every aspect of our lives, amazing things begin to happen. Stripping away begins to happen. Buckets get emptied of the old junk and when that stall is completely cleaned out, so to speak, then the beautiful aroma starts to flow. The radiance begins to show. Because you go back and fill the stall up again. But, this time with good stuff, peaceful thoughts, strengthened beliefs, spiritual insight & understanding, all the things that are supposed to be inside the stall. After this particular healing is done completely, then you can go on to the next friends stall and you can share what the Lord has taught you and you pour your new found wisdom into others. Sharpen others. Help others hand in hand get their stalls clean. It is truly what this life of serving Christ is about. Helping others , Sharing with others. Sharpening others as iron sharpens iron.
Dear friends, the Lord has transformed my life in ways that I can never imagine. I am blessed and I am content more than I have ever been in my life. Is my life perfect? A big NO is the answer. I have finally realized that it is nothing to be ashamed of and I am good with it, because my God, his ways are perfect. His word is flawless. He is a shield and I take refuge in him. He strips our stalls, our old ways of thinking, the strongholds that hold us captive so we can be better. Every thing he does is for our good. Sometimes the stripping can be physically painful or emotionally painful but it is necessary. We cannot receive anything new if both of our hands are full with the junk of yesterday. So I have put my trust in the only one that will never leave me or forsake me.
I encourage you to ask him to search your heart, sift through the stalls and see what needs removing. The peace that the Lord will give you will transcend any trial or tribulation that comes against you. Because it is supernatural. So position yourself in His care. For Isaiah reminds us in Isaiah 41:13 that the Lord says, I am the Lord , YOUR God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to YOU, Do not fear, I WILL HELP YOU ~