I’m not sure what made Hubby and me think we could hold back a five-hundred-pound, spooked donkey. But we’d tried. And failed.
We’d recently adopted a female donkey and didn’t want a herd of little donks, so Jeb needed a “procedure.”
On the appointed day, we haltered Jeb and waited to greet Dr. Montgomery and his helper.
Jeb was led from his corral to a nearby shade tree. Although Jeb was a bit unsettled being outside of his secure pasture. We stood by, thinking all would go well.
Preparation for Jeb’s procedure began. The vet’s assistant had a rope connected to Jeb’s halter to hold him while a shot of a calming sedative was given. Hubby and I each had an additional lead… just in case. Well, “in case” happened.
When the vet attempted to give Jeb the first shot, he spooked and ran. Oh, no. That’s when I realized a mistake—the gate was still open. We had no other choice than to keep Jeb from bolting out the gate and down the road. Hubby and I dug in our heels and held on for a wild ride, while the assistant wisely let go immediately.
Hubby went down first, and Jeb dragged him a few feet in the gravel. Then I flew off my feet and landed on my sternum.
Jeb was free and galloping toward the open gate.
The vet jumped in his truck to retrieve the donkey. Upon his return, with Jeb trotting behind the truck, he tied the wayward donkey to a tree in a less desirable place for the operation.
How many times do we hold on to something knowing full well it isn’t going to end well? God clearly tells us we are to let go, but we don’t. We insist we can continue holding on even when we know the outcome isn’t going to be pretty.
The unexpected happens, and we continue to hold on. Life bolts, and we continue to hold on. We can believe circumstances become runaways, but still, we continue to hold on.
What would have happened if we had let go of Jeb’s lead at the first sign of trouble? He would’ve run out the gate. But Hubby and I wouldn’t have been injured. Our clinging to the rope didn’t change the outcome.
Letting go doesn’t always mean to give up doing what God has called you to do.
The outcome with Jeb was the same: he ran out the gate into the road. We had the desired outcome of keeping him from running. We needed to let go of the donkey, and that outcome, to avoid falling on our faces. We didn’t; we fell.
God has a plan (Jeremiah 29:11). God knows better than we do what’s ahead and how to avoid things ending in catastrophe. When we release our plans, no matter how detailed, we make room for God to do what he intended in the first place without injuring ourselves along the way.
God wants us to let go. He has the lead… let him lead.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. — Proverbs 3:5–6
Adapted from Donkey Devos: Listen When God Speaks by Susan K. Stewart
Susan K. Stewart didn’t expect to become a “donkey whisper,” as some of her neighbors say. One day God put her in a herd of donkeys, and it was love at first bray. Susan and her husband Bob live in Central Texas with their three dogs, three cats, numerous chickens, and inspiring donkeys. They have three children and six outstanding grandchildren. Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions and a few donkey stories.
Free Donkey Devos Lent Guide https://www.susankstewart.com/DDLentGuide
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Did you know the Bible mentions only two talking animals? Each of these creatures had a different message. The first to speak out was the serpent. This character certainly wasn’t a model. If God was using this snake for a test drive, I can see why he kept the mouths of the other animals closed. This snake in the grass spoke words meant for evil. Later God allowed another animal to speak—the lowly donkey. The beast of burden. This time the animal had words of wisdom.
Susan K. Stewart expected dogs, cats, and the occasional goldfish would be all the pets she’d need—until the day Susan met donkeys at a rescue center. A few years after that fateful visit, three donkeys became part of the Stewart family. Susan soon learned these humble creatures are still messengers of wisdom.
Donkey Devos: Listen When God Speaks is a collection of forty pearls Susan has learned from spending time learning about her equine friends and chatting with them. She uses her experiences, donkey facts, and Biblical donkey details to share the truths God has taught. The whole family will delight in the donkey tales with a message from God.
“Who would think that devotions about donkeys could be interesting, much less fascinating, motivational, and spiritually inspiring? But that’s exactly what you’ll receive as a wonderful gift when you read Donkey Devos by Susan K. Stewart.”—Kathy Collard Miller, author of God’s Intriguing Questions: 60 New Testament Devotions Revealing Jesus’s Nature
I hope you enjoyed Susan’s Let Go lesson she and her husband learned.
Do you have such a story? We’d love to hear it! Comment below!