Daily Devotional September 20, 2022

Years ago, Shannon saw a registered black and white Paint horse, with a beautiful white flowing main, and sky-blue eyes.  She was one of the most beautiful creatures God has ever made.  Her name was Shiloh.  She was for sale.

When we got to the ranch to see Shiloh, I did not have a good feeling.

This beautiful young horse was the only one on the place.  She was in a stall, alone, lonely, bored, and angry.  She had been cribbing (chewing) the top rail of her stall because she was frustrated.

The owners got her out of the stall, put a saddle on her, and led her to the round pen for me to ride.  I could tell she had little discipline or training.  It was clear her owners really didn’t know what they were doing.  It was not a good experience.

While she didn’t try to buck me off, Shiloh made sure I understood she was highly offended by my presence. She wouldn’t follow commands and didn’t respond when I tried to turn her in a different direction.

Once I dismounted, I knew not to turn my back on her because I was sure she would come after me.

As Shannon and I discussed if we should buy Shiloh, I put my foot down and said even though she wanted that ill-mannered, meanspirited horse, I was the man of our house, the head of our family, and we were not buying Shiloh.

So, later that day, when I was driving back to our place with Shiloh in the trailer, I asked Shannon why she wanted a mean horse and how was she going to make her a good fit for us.

Shannon smiled and said, “The other horses will teach her manners.  Trust me.”  I was skeptical.

Sure enough, when I unloaded Shiloh from the trailer, she tried to kick one of the other horses.  That was the moment Shiloh learned her life would be a lot easier if she was kind and gentle.  

While it took a few months, Shiloh became a completely different animal.  Sadly, she had to learn that lesson the hard way as our other horses put her in her place.

I learned from Shiloh’s painful, transforming experience.

While this sounds incredibly simplistic, it is very true.  Being kind to others makes life much easier.  In fact, it’s Biblical.

When Paul describes love, he says, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Did you notice the second attribute in Paul’s description is love is kind?

In a world filled with anger, bigotry, hate, disrespect, and rudeness, those who follow Jesus Christ walk a different path.  We are kind.  And just know, by being kind, we make this world a better place.

Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, as I shine your light into this dark world, help me be a kind, gracious presence for those who are hurting.  Use me to make your world a better place.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Today, Shiloh is our sweetest horse.  She learned kindness is better. 

I hope we learn the same lesson.

I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.

Tom Robbins