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Helping Lesson from a Horse

I shared previously about the training I recently went to on Equine Assisted Perspectives. I learned so much about myself, I might have to consider going for Equine therapy, certainly nothing a I had ever considered before. In addition to learning I need to get out of my own way, I learned a helping lesson from another horse.

Picture me standing in the front of this giant horse. Looking up at his face because he was taller than me. I was trying to put a rope harness on him. I was too close to his mouth. I was trying to stay away from the mouth because I’m not comfortable with a horse’s mouth. The horse is also pulling his face away from me.

I’m in this arena, with about 20 other professionals around me. I have this rope harness in my hand trying to maneuver it onto the horse. I was getting completely flustered and although anxiety is not usually something I experience, I was certainly having a hard time calming myself.

So, I did ask for help. I am talking with the horse asking him to teach me how to put the harness on him. Yes, probably too many episodes of Mr. Ed growing up. I really wanted him to teach me. I figured he had done it enough times.

The facilitator eventually, after much prompting (for me to use my resources), got me to ask them for help; then helped me learn to put the harness on the horse and lead him around. A number of my cohort struggled because they really wanted to come help me, to rescue me. I can laugh now because although I wasn’t asking for help, my eyes were pleading with the young horse handler sitting in front of me to rescue me. I wanted her to give me the cues on how to do it; all the while, I pleaded with the horse.

What a reflection of life! So often I know I need help, but I refuse to ask for it. I fumble around frustrating myself. I talk whatever I am working on wanting desperately for it to respond favorably to me. All the while, I am hoping someone will feel so sorry for me that they will jump in and rescue me. I want to be rescued, often from myself. Yet, I won’t voice the need I have. I could see in this moment how frustrating I can be in my refusal to ask for help from those who can and will help me.

I know this is an issue for me. It’s one I have been working on for a while because asking for help was engrained into my mind as weakness. Yet, asking for help is something we all need to do, and probably more often than we do. I know it, I teach it, but I rarely do it.

I love helping others. I remind my clients how good helping makes us feel, and how we rob others of that feeling and opportunity when we refuse to ask for help. I remind myself of that often. Yet here I was needing help, but not really asking.

God recently showed me that even Jesus asked for help. In the scene at Gethsemane, Jesus not only pleads with the Father, He asks His disciples for help.

“They came to a place named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here until I have prayed.” And He *took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be very distressed and troubled. And He *said to them, “My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death; remain here and keep watch.” And He went a little beyond them, and fell to the ground and began to pray that if it were possible, the hour might pass Him by. And He was saying, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” And He came and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again He went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to answer Him. And He came the third time, and *said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough; the hour has come; behold, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going; behold, the one who betrays Me is at hand!”” Mark‬ ‭14:32-42‬ ‭‬‬

If Jesus needs the help and support in His flesh, how much more do we? Pride keeps us from asking for help. It is not weak to ask for help, that is a lie from the enemy. It takes courage to admit that you can’t do it alone. The fact is God didn’t make us to do life alone.

We need others. God says ask, He offers help.

Here are just a few passages from a quick search:

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭‬‬

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” James‬ ‭1:5

“But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” James‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭‬‬

Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.Matthew‬ ‭5:42‬ ‭‬‬

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭‬‬

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Psalms‬ ‭33:20‬

We were designed for relationship with God and others. We needed to be rescued from our sin, and Jesus provided that completely. In life we need to ask for help, both from God and people. We were not made to be able to do all things. We were not made to do everything alone. We were made to do life with others and for others. We were made to help and to be helped.

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