Hold Your Horses
February 27, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
Teach me Your way, O LORD, and lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; for false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! - Psalm 27:11-14.
In Kansas, a while back, the cities of Lawrence and Dodge City experienced runaways. In Lawrence, the stage coach, which they use as a tourist attraction, crashed when the horse pulling the stage veered into a ditch. In Dodge City, a horse pulling the stage slipped; and when it got up it was frightened, and took off like a runaway. As a result, the stage slammed into a parked car, overturned, and injured five passengers. They should have held their horses.
Horses have a tendency to do the unexpected, even those that have been around people for years. My great-grandmother’s nephew was killed, and his father injured when the horses pulling their wagon took off, and control was lost of them. "Hold your horses" used to be a term with serious meaning. Whoever was holding on to the horses had control, and it meant the difference sometimes, between life and death. Sometime in the 1800s "hold your horses" began appearing in print in reference to humans. As applied to people, "hold your horses" means to "be patient and wait."
When you read the word "wait" in the Bible; God is saying, "hold your horses!" When God says to wait, it is serious business. King Saul found out the hard way that to launch out when God says, "wait" can be very costly. In fact, it cost him the kingdom (1 Samuel 13), which God then gave to an unknown shepherd boy named David.
An example of what can happen when you are obedient to the Lord’s command to wait, can be seen with the disciples, just after the ascension of Christ. In Acts 1:4 we read, "And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father…." They waited and we know what happened! "When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit…(Acts 2:1-3a)." They waited, and the Holy Spirit came upon them, empowering them to be the Lord’s witnesses as He had promised (Acts 1:8). On the day of Pentecost alone, about 3,000 people came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:41).
When God says to "wait" there is always a good reason. When God says to "wait" it will always be to your benefit. When God says to "wait" it will always be better later. "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!" It may be that God is saying, "Hold your horses." It may be hard to do, but it is a very important, and at times courageous thing to do. So, "hold your horses!"