It was about 100 degrees out the summer day that we decided to take our visiting cousins horseback riding out in Romeo. We’d spent the morning making stuffed cabbage in my then un-air-conditioned home, so I’m not sure what gave us the notion to go horseback riding. But off we went.
My sons were probably 7 and 9 at the time, and wanted to ride the biggest horses available. “Are you sure you don’t want to ride a pony?” the manager asked. But oh no – My sons couldn’t be bothered with a little pony. So they mounted them each onto a horse, and off they walked out of the barn.
No matter what the trainer did, those horses didn’t want to budge in that sweltering summer heat.
Very disappointed, it was not long before we headed back into the barn where the temperature was a little cooler. Just as the kids were coming down off their horses, a young boy came racing in on a young pony. Both of my kids’ jaws fell open and their eyes widened. Rory matter-of-factly said, “Next time, I’m riding a pony instead!”
And Ian said, “Oh yeah? Well, the next time I come back, I’m RIDING A BULL!”
We laughed the rest of the afternoon about that, and into his baby book memories I wrote that story, and have enjoyed re-telling it for years.
I never let Ian ride a bull. And even if he hated me for it, and stomped his feet and had a fit, and threatened me, or made conditions for his loving me as his mom, I still would NEVER have let him ride that bull. Why? Because I love him.
God does that with us too. He tells us “no!” He knows what is in our best interest, and he knows what will hurt us. He is our Father, and He loves us enough to say “No!” to us as His children.
I’ve stomped my feet, I’ve had my tantrums, and have complained and complained to Him. But I know He is the perfect Father, and I know His “no’s” are for my good, and for my growth.
I know Ian is glad now, that I never let him ride a bull. (But you can bet, I’ll tease him about that for the rest of his life!)
And today, a day I was reminded of a certain “no” I got many years ago – I’m thanking God for loving me enough to answer me just the way that He did…… If He hadn’t, I’m quite confident I would have just landed on my blessed assurance…….. 😉