Registered Quarter Horse
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2, NIV)
During a season of personal transition, a beloved local volunteer contacted the Ranch regarding their horse. Although the young family loved their gelding tremendously, they understood that only having one horse posed a hardship for his equine heart. They knew without another equine as a companion, their horse felt lonely. This truth fueled the difficult decision to rehome their four-footed friend. Soon, a time was scheduled to evaluate the solitary horse.
Upon seeing the horse for the first time, the staff was struck by his handsome stature. As a Foundation Quarter Horse, the gelding was tall and built with the strong body of a ranch horse. In beautiful contrast, his finely bred facial features mirrored his foundation bloodlines. He was simply stunning. Yet, even more radiant than his outward appearance shone his kind heart and inquisitive compassion.
Moved by the gentle giant’s humble willingness, the team believed he would make a wonderful addition to the Ranch equine herd. With incredible generosity, the family chose to gift the quiet gelding as a donation to Crystal Peaks.
During his first days at the Ranch, the staff recognized a unique characteristic about the special horse. When interacting with people, the gelding would carefully arc his powerful neck. By reaching his head around, he tenderly folded his new friends against his shoulder in an equine embrace. Quickly, he earned an endearing place within the hearts of the volunteers and children and was known for his signature “hugs.”
As the staff took time to know our most recent arrival, they felt the Lord’s prompting to give the treasured gelding a new name. The horse’s chestnut color and muscled presence warranted a name with strength and power.
Inspired by his iridized, fiery red coat and commanding build, the team renamed him “Forge.”
The definition of forge is to “shape by heating in a fire or furnace and hammering.” To forge is to form, cleanse, refine, temper, and make strong. In the Bible, we are given examples of how God molds and purifies us through fiery trials:
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5, ESV)
“So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” (1 Peter 1:6-7, NLT)
“Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29, NIV)
God uses trials to forge deep character within us. Our horse’s name reminds us of how we will each walk through seasons of loneliness, suffering and waiting. And when we do, we can choose to experience our hardships in a new way with a new perspective. Instead of focusing on sadness, we can; “consider it pure joy because [we] know the testing of [our] faith produces perseverance.”
Forge’s season of fiery isolation hammered within his heart a great compassion and love for people. Through hardship, this beautiful characteristic was formed and is now demonstrated daily on the Ranch. Likewise, by surrendering to God’s Word within our fiery trials, the Holy Spirit transforms our hearts to love like He loves.
When we choose to be molded by the tender and powerful hand of God, His great love will naturally be displayed in all we do. His Almighty compassion will pour through us and reach the hurting in our midst.
Forge is a four-legged reminder of how God is always preparing us for more than we could imagine.
Today, will you choose joy in your trial? Will you submit to the compassionate hammer of God’s Word? Will you allow the brittle pieces of your heart to shatter and melt in the presence of His molten love for you?
Like Forge, those who yield to the Master’s hand will also be hallmarked by the embrace of God—and become uniquely gifted—to give the same.
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