On the first Saturday in May, it is said, “All eyes turn toward Kentucky,” as a select group of horses “run for the roses.” It is Derby Day!
I began life as a South Carolina girl, but at a crucial moment in time, I came to Kentucky. I never planned to stay, but life changed in this place … and I fell in love … not only with the Kentucky man, but also with the land itself.
I love the gentle rolling hills that make it possible to view more of the landscape. It is like stadium seating.
I love the expansive green grass and trees. If you view the grass just right in the morning, it looks blue. That’s why we say we live in the bluegrass.
And I love the horses, often seen behind rows of white fences. We have the pleasure of having horses as our neighbors.
It thrills me to see the horses running in the sunshine, their manes flying in the breeze. At times, it appears all four legs leave the ground. They seem to fly without wings.
It brings me peace to see them grazing peacefully, side by side, or sometimes stretched out on the ground sunbathing.
It amuses me to see them “horsing around,” playfully pushing each other or racing each other to get to a favorite tree.
When it snows and the pastures turn into a winter wonderland, the horses roll around in the white carpet and try to outdo each other, making snow angels.
God surely loves horses too. God loves all His Creations, but He seemed to have put a special emphasis on horses.
When God confronted Job, leaving no doubt He was The Creator, He described one of His prized Creations – the horse. God asked Job,
“Did you give the horse its strength
or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
Do you make it leap like a locust,
striking terror with its proud snorting?its paws fiercely rejoicing in its strength,
And charges into the fray.
It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing.”
Job 39: 19-22
Horses are referenced multiple times in the Bible, often pulling chariots or taking their riders into war. While God allowed horses their spot in biblical history, He also made it clear that we should not trust the horse as the source of our strength.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of The Lord our God.”
Interestingly, Jesus appeared to have begun His Pre-delivery Life, not on a horse, but on a donkey.
The donkey is seen as the more humble equine relative of the mighty horse. The pregnant Mary is often depicted as riding on a donkey on her her way to Bethlehem. (At least that’s the way history has depicted her mode of transportation. I find no supporting scripture for this.)
When Jesus entered Jerusalem in celebration in the days before His Crucifixion, He chose to ride a donkey.
“Finding a young donkey, Jesus sat on it, as it is written, ‘Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. See, your King is coming, seated on the colt of a donkey.'”
But when the Risen Jesus returns one day, when every eye shall behold Him, He will make His Grand Entrance on a horse.
John saw Him in his Great Revelation.
“Now, I saw Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He, Who sat upon Him was called Faithful and True …”
“And the armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.”
Jesus went to the cross in great humility. He arose victorious. He returns visible to all …
“He has on His Robe and on His Thigh a Name written —
King of Kings and Lord of Lords!”
Revelation 19: 16
Kentucky and its many equine residents give me a preview of that Heaven. They remind me to stay faithful and true to Him, Who is Faithful and True.
And when the winds blow across the pasture, I hear His Promise.
“Yes, I am coming soon!”
Revelation 22: 20
Amen, come Lord Jesus!
Lovely reflection for spring and for the first Saturday in May.