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God's Creatures, Great and Small

So many times we wonder if God can use us in unexpected situations where we find ourselves. I found myself in one such situation. I had been called to California when my sister began to lose her battle with cancer. No matter what the doctors did, the cancer seemed to stay one step ahead of the chemo and radiation treatments. John, her husband, brought Suzi home, arranged care to keep her comfortable, and called in the family.

I left Pennsylvania on a cold winter day on January 9th, 2017, arrived in California at my sister’s home in the rain, and was ushered into her bedroom by my brother-in-law John. My sister lay dying, being held in comfort by the morphine she received every two hours. I let the tears stream down my face as I caressed my sister and kissed her. I told her I loved her and to watch for the angel who would escort her into the arms of Jesus. She opened her eyes acknowledging my presence. I spent the next two days sitting with her, talking and reading to her, and praying with her and the hospice chaplain as he prayed, helping her confess her sins.

On Tuesday, late in the morning, I went for a walk around the 26 acre ranch, El Sueno, which my sister and her husband John managed. I walked around the place admiring the beautiful show and race horses there. The trainers, students, and ranch personnel were exceptional. They greeted me with open arms, inquiring about my sister and John, asking also about how I was doing. I felt so much love and comfort from each person. I knew God was with me during this difficult time. Upon leaving the barn, I noticed a trainer leading a rider on a beautiful horse to the arena for training. They had paused briefly for the owner of the horse to catch up with them. I approached the horse and remarked what a beautiful creature it was. The horse stood very still, smelling my hand and looking into my eyes. I began to pet her as the rider shared that the horse’s name was Emily. Emily stood still while I patted her neck and scratched under her chin. When I stopped to answer some questions, she used her head to nudge my chest. I began petting her again. I eventually stopped and stepped away so they could proceed into the arena. I thought nothing more of the incident. 

Later in the evening, another trainer, Debbie, stopped at my sister’s house to visit my sister. She shared with John and me that they were calling me the “Horse Whisperer” at the barn. She and another trainer were watching the whole incident with Emily; their thought was that the rider was going to die at any second. Apparently, Emily was a wild mustang who had recently been rescued from running wild in the Malibu canyons. She was being trained for Dressage and didn’t actually like people. She has only let the trainer, rider, and owner pet her. Emily reacts negatively toward anyone else who approaches her. They were totally amazed that Emily would let me make such of a fuss over her, petting her head and neck, and scratching under her chin. I was totally amazed by what Debbie was telling John and me.

Later that evening, as I sat with my sister and reflected on the “horse whispering” incident, I tried to understand why this young mustang would let me make such a fuss over her. Suddenly, it dawned on me why Emily responded the way she did. As I waited for my plane to arrive in Burbank, I had prayed the God would use me to minister to those at the ranch and to all whom I came in contact with during this hard time. I asked Him to use me as a sieve to let His love, peace, and comfort flow thru me to all I encountered here in California.

Emily was calm during the exchange between her and me because she felt her creator in me. Emily didn’t feel me petting and loving her; she felt God's presence calming her, helping her to relish the feel of human hands on her. Those hands, my hands, brought her God’s comfort and love. I felt privileged that God would use me with this magnificent creature.

This has shown me that God can use us in all circumstances and in situations where and when we least expect it. God has promised He is with us in all situations, at all times. But God can only use us if we give Him permission and open ourselves to Him.

Ellen - Guest Blogger

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