Training and discipline often feel the same. We ask God to use us but we don’t want to go through the training. Now, my horse Dandy always wanted to go team-roping. I’d know that in three weeks we we’re going to be roping somewhere, so I’d begin conditioning him. I wanted to make sure that he didn’t pull a hamstring or something so I would walk him up sandy hills to strengthen his muscles. Sometimes he would look at me like, “What are you doing this to me for? I thought I was your buddy.” I didn’t want Dandy to get hurt, so I got him ready for the roping. Then, when we went, it was no sweat for him. We would place and win occasionally. We got fast time of the day a couple of times because I prepared my horse. But while I was training him he was sweating going, “Why am I having to go through this?”

Sometimes when God is training us we think we’ve been bad and that He’s disciplining us. A lot of times we get mad at Him when all He’s doing is getting ready to use us for something. He has us in training; He’s conditioning us. We want God to use us in a great way but sometimes we don’t want that training. God wants to take you and begin training you; you need to be ready for it.

Paul said, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” (I Corinthians 11:1). Your number one ministry is to be a model to whomever you come in contact with. Every time I ride my horse I’m training that horse whether I like it or not. Did you know that every time you’re around other people you’re training them? Do they see you following Christ?

Jim Rice

Taken from Trials and the Round Pen, by Jim Rice.

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