As I entered the field in the gray light of dawn I was surprised to see the four horses standing at attention. Still as statues they pointed like setters at something far down the pasture. Every once and awhile vapor like smoke issued from distended nostrils. One horse would break rank and pace, snorting, and then resume its stance Curious, I turned to squint at what lay across the distance.
I have to admit it did look frightening. Something white was wafting gaily in the early morning breeze. I couldn’t imagine what it could be and I felt my stomach tighten a bit – could it be an animal? At any rate, the horses felt pretty nervous about it! I slipped through the fence and started to make my way toward the scary object.
Lots of times things I don’t understand or situations that occur frighten me. I know I need to trust in God. I can look back at all the times the Lord has been faithful and taken care of me and my family. In good times and bad He has brought us through. Not always without pain but I have learned that even suffering has its commensurate joy. Still, in my weakness, I dread lessons of life that scare me.
That morning I felt a little afraid as I trudged across the wet grass. The white form alternately stood completely still and then waved frantically again as the breeze touched it. I heard a few snorts and whinnies behind me along with galloping hooves. Then, again, complete silence as only the dawn can provide.
When my husband Leo, I, and our five children moved to Alabama in the mid-eighties, his salary had just climbed to twenty five thousand a year. We felt like kings. Still for a one income household we were scraping by. I didn’t realize it completely then, but we were quite poor. I am sure our children felt it when they saw what others had and how they lived.
When my husband went out on a business venture a few years down the road we had high hopes of betterment. The business crashed a mere eight weeks later and he was out of a job. At the time we were renovating two bathrooms – and they had just been demolished and only partially restored. A friend was doing the work for us. So here we were with no income, regular expenses, and the wreckage about us!
However, six months earlier, my husband’s former teaching partner, Laura, had applied for a job at a big corporation. It took that long to get the interviews and to get a position secured. She made plans to take up the job. The same week it became apparent that my husband’s job was gone, Laura found out she was going to have a baby. It was unplanned- in fact she had trouble conceiving. As her new job required extensive traveling, she decided to decline the offer. But Laura went to the corporation and recommended Leo for the job. So that very week, the corporation did the interviews and hired him. It floored me that all this had taken place before my husband lost his job!
I thought of this as I came upon the pasture ghost in the ever quickening morning light. I paused in my reflections to turn back and look at my horse companions. They still stood, riveted, as they tried to discern the ghostly interloper. At this point, flush with relief, I realized what the specter was: helium balloons moored to a shrub! Somebody’s birthday balloons had taken a little turn. As I got closer, I had to laugh at myself. Most of the giant problems in life, when under the Lord’s control, are wafting in the breeze. I even had time to be a little amused at my horse’s fear. That is until I recollected my own reaction every time God allows a test to come my way!