I was not prepared for the spiritual lessons that this movie unknowingly reinforced in me. In the plot line a young boy is trying to train a young colt which is the offspring of a very wild mare. When they first capture the colt she is very afraid and willful. She fights their efforts to calm and tame her. The father tells his son that as soon as the colt is stripped of her freedom and all the things she is accustomed to having, she will begin to depend on and love her owner which in this case was the young boy.
Is that not like us? When we are stripped of the things we are depending on outside of the Lord and when we are stripped of thinking we are strong in ourselves, we begin to trust and lean on the Lord instead. We begin to see how weak we really are without the Lord. In this place of desperate clinging to the Lord our acknowledgment of our weakness makes room for the power of God in our lives. It also makes our love for God become more intense. Care-giving with all of it's overwhelming challenges and the years since my husband's death has taught me the lesson of how weak I am in myself and how desperately I need the Lord. It may have done the same for you, dear caregiver. That is actually a good place to be, for then you reach out for God's all powerful strength.
Later in the plot of the story the young boy's mom tells her son that the colt's fears and fighting will cease when the colt knows she is loved by the boy and can trust him. Does not the Lord teach us the same thing in our lives? Fear and love for the Lord do not belong together, because love that flows from God and is perfected by God drives out and removes fears. (I John 4:18) So often during my care-giving days for my husband I succumbed to fear about the future and sometimes even fear of what that day would bring. Yet the Lord commands us to not be afraid over and over in Scripture.
Still later in the script of the movie the colt becomes very ill. One night the young boy sneaks out of the house and lies with the colt holding and comforting him. The boy sacrificed His own comfort and even health for the colt. In fact, the boy becomes very sick for awhile as a result of what he did. The boy did this because of his love for his colt. It also most likely caused the horse to keep struggling to live and survive. The Lord holds us too when we are overwhelmed by life's trials. He holds us and comforts us and loves us during those times. The Lord knows your care-giving sorrows, dear caregiver, and He loves and comforts you through the process. You know He loved you so much, because He sacrificed His life for you on the cross. He has proven His love for you.
Towards the end of the movie a wild cat tries to attack the colt, because he knows the colt is a weak and easy prey. The dad kills the wild cat, and the threat is removed. So also in Scripture the devil is portrayed as a roaring lion who wants to devour us. The devil knows when we are at our lowest and weakest and loves to try to prey on us in those moments. God's advice is to humble ourselves before Him and not be anxious, because He cares for us and will protect us. His advice is to also stand firm in our faith. (I Peter 5:6-9a) It is so easy in the care-giving scenario to become discouraged. Yet the Lord has promised to be with us, if we turn to Him
So, dear caregiver, trust in the Lord's strength not your own. When your recognize your own weakness and lean on the Lord's strength, you are strong. Do not fear, for the Lord is with you. Rest in His love. Also avail yourself of His comforting arms around you. Finally, be alert for the devil's attempts to discourage you. Turn to the Lord instead.