"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."
(Matthew 12:40, KJV)
A small chocolate-colored horse entered the world as a riddle, a dichotomy, perhaps some would even taunt as a joke. His mingled blood combined the champion lines of his Arabian sire—with the lowly unregistered linage of his pony mother. From his birth, divine plans swirled over his young life, weaving a unique story of profound purpose in every detail. Ten years later—when his equine maturity mirrored that of a thirty year old—God unveiled His true calling over this chosen horse.
In a transitional season at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, the staff and volunteers asked Jesus to call in another strong horse to shoulder with the aging foundational herd within the ministry. Increasingly, the children who came for sessions exchanged their riding time to assist in caring for the elderly equines. After months of prayer for an additional younger horse whom the children could ride, a unique opportunity arose. Kim stumbled over a local advertisement and showed it to Sarah, both wondered if this might be the next new Ranch warrior?
The advertisement had been posted locally and featured a kind and capable Arab-cross for sale. Intrigued, the Ranch staff made the one hour drive to the neighboring town so they could evaluate the gelding as a potential answer to their prayers.
Upon arrival, a single mom and her two daughters welcomed the staff warmly. The young trio led the Ranch team around their home and to a small paddock in the backyard. As the team entered the corral, they were affectionately greeted by a dark and handsome gelding. With eager curiosity, he reached out his nose to welcome them. The team returned his kindness by rubbing him all over his rich colored coat. Soon, the Ranch crew were laughing out loud. The little horse was so appreciative of the hands on attention that he lifted his upper lip and reciprocated each stroke by lovingly rubbing the nearest person within his reach.
The gentle and well-mannered ways of the small horse made it clear that he adored people, even newly introduced guests. The gelding’s kind and quiet actions spoke loudly to the staff. His love for human interaction was balanced with polite respectfulness, both necessary characteristics when considering a horse for a child.
The evaluation progressed with impressive and noticeable ease. The beautiful gelding effortlessly passed each portion with a willing attitude and seemed to enjoy every moment of interaction. Repeatedly, he demonstrated an intelligent desire to please combined with an unusually soft and humble submission to his rider.
For the staff, spending time with this gentle-natured friend felt like looking into the soft brown eyes of an answered prayer.
This small horse was not a rescue—but a gift from God sent to fulfill His great purpose.
Only days before Easter, “Jonas” began his journey toward his new calling at Crystal Peaks.
As Jonas entered his training to become a safe children’s horse, the staff noticed some unique qualities. Although his sire was a fiery endurance racing champion, this humble little horse chose to quietly follow the cues of his rider. He intuitively submitted his own passion—and adjusted his speed—for the greater need of those he carried. By continually serving those in his midst, he also exuded a rare compassion in everything he was asked to do.
Although he didn’t reflect his sire’s red-hot speed, he did manifest his dad’s love for the wilderness. More than anywhere within the ranch boundaries, Jonas delighted in carrying his friends on trails into the wild places. Also, in every way a horse can, Jonas continued to radiate with an uncommon love for mankind.
Indeed, Jonas is a dichotomy . . . a strong and humble servant . . . that pours forth controlled passion and love.
It didn’t take long for our team to realize how this precious gift of a horse—points like a beautiful arrow—toward another precious Gift.
Jonas’ name literally means "dove, peaceful being, gift of God." In Scripture, doves are representative of the Holy Spirit and signify messengers. It was through the prophet "Jonas" (King James Version) God brought revival to an entire nation. Jonas the prophet was also a prototype of Christ and picture of His death and resurrection.
"For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." – Matthew 12:40 (KJV)
Sarah realized that Jonas arrived on the first day of Passover, just before Easter Weekend. In an astounding parallel, Jesus had positioned this horse nearly like the prophet of old, pointing to His redemption on the cross. Jesus Christ arrived on this earth to physically carry the message of hope and redemption into a dark world. To the human mind, Jesus was also a dichotomy. His blood combined Royalty and man, Heaven and earth—for Gods perfect plan. Even though Jesus was the Son of God and the Champion of champions, He released His glory and chose humility. He left Heavens light and chose to enter our darkness to bear compassion and redemption for all mankind.
Jesus, like the little horse He created, also delights in carrying His children into beautiful and wild places. For all who are willing, He tenderly guides anyone who chooses Him through the wilderness of life.
“For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts . . .” (Psalm 95:3-8, NLT)
Today, will you accept His beckoning call for your heart? Will you receive the forgiveness and healing offered within His hand and choose to be deeply drawn into His presence? Will you trust Him to carry your heart into His wild plan of love for your life?
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