Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross"1 (Lyrics)
The aroma of horse hair overwhelmed me as I buried my face in Princess's mane. She grasped my ponytail scrunchie with her muzzle, slid it off, and waved it triumphantly. If a horse could laugh, she was doing it. This was a deliberate move on her part to cheer me up. I would have joined her celebratory disposition, but I knew that we had only days together. I was moving out of state, and she would not be travelling with us. A tear traced my cheek. I couldn't even tell her!
"God," I said, "What do I do? Princess needs a new home, too."
In the silence, a thought formed, She was a gift; so give her as a gift.
Memories flooded my mind. I remembered caring for Princess whenever my neighbour vacationed. One year, I teased her, saying that she could have her Appaloosa back, but I was keeping Princess. To my amazement, she said that she'd been waiting for me to ask. The benefit for her was that I'd be assuming responsibility for the vet, farrier, and feed bills.
Princess had come to live with my neighbour when her previous owner, Patty, had fallen on hard times. Nonetheless, Patty would come and ride her. I noticed that Princess high-stepped her gorgeous fox trot best for Patty.
My neighbour had moved long before, so I knew who the Lord was referencing when He spoke into my spirit to give Princess as a gift. Patty's financial situation had improved, but she did not have a pasture, so it made little sense to call her. But I decided to contact her anyway.
Patty arranged to have Princess pastured in an adjoining field that a cattleman owned, and the preparations were made to make the transfer.
As my horse-haired angel trotted out of my world, a strange sense of gratitude overtook me. As deep as this loss was for me, I knew that Patty's heart was now full. It was then that I realized that Father God had planned this Giving Day from the beginning.
In reflecting on this, I wondered how Father God felt when He gave His Son Jesus. Did He draw closer, when He had to ask His Son in Gethsemane to make the hard decision to go to Calvary's cross? As Jesus agreed to do the will of His Father, did their hearts ache together?
Mark 14:36b – Take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (KJV)
Did the holy Father feel distraught as He averted His eyes, be it ever so briefly, so that His Son could bear the weight of sin? Did Father weep when Jesus said,
Mark 15:34b – My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (KJV)
Friend, the purpose for this heartache was rooted in the ever-presence of God, whose love knows no boundaries and whose depths cannot be reached. No human can fathom this boundless love except for Jesus. And so, when Father God whispered to His Son in Gethsemane that it was Giving Day, Jesus willingly chose to pay this penalty of death. Why? Jesus' love was as rich as His Father's. We needed this pardon for sin that only the Son could pay, and Jesus made sure that we could have it.
And now, Father God has replaced King Jesus' crown of thorns with a jewelled crown. Those nail-pierced hands that stretched wide to pay the debt that humanity could not possibly have paid, have been bejewelled with the crimson-coloured beryl stones of glory.
Let's meditate on John 3:16 afresh. Giving Day is for you, my friend. It has been fervently given, and prearranged from the beginning of time, because you have been and always will be deeply loved by your Creator.
Prayer: Thank You, God, for the gift of eternal life that Your Son Jesus Christ purchased for me. Amen.