Daily Office Readings for February 29, 2020
“Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding; who must be fitted with bit and bridle, or else they will not stay near you.” (Psalm 32:10)
I remember once having Morning Prayer with two other seminarians while in seminary and reading this Psalm. We laughed as all three of us thought of people that we too would have to be fitted with bit and bridle, or else we would not stay near them. But it was because we did indeed have understanding, and that we were loving, that we stayed near them even when it was uncomfortable.
The metaphor of bit and bridle may in fact be a good way of looking at how God holds us close to God’s will. We often don’t have understanding. Often we don’t know the will of God and when God reveals just a little of it to us, we run. We become like Jonah trying to avoid Nineveh.
I think the point of the Psalmist is that not having understanding keeps us in fear. We don’t realize the power of God’s forgiveness. We need to stay near the rough un-comfortableness of God and be patient until understanding finally comes.
There was a time in my life when I did not want one of my daughters to be pregnant. But she was. I could feel a prayer welling up in my gut to ask God to not let her be pregnant because she was still a senior in high school. But she was. She gave birth to her first born. Alex. Alex is a gift from God to us. I love my granddaughter so much. So glad that God gave me what I needed rather than what I asked for. I am so glad God fitted me with bit and bridle, or else I would not have stayed near God. I had no understanding.
Is there any lack of understanding in your life that causes you to want to move away from God? God will fit you with that bit and bridle and hold you close unless you turn and run to your own peril. We as seminarians learned that while this verse sounds funny, holding on to what God wants for us is as serious as it gets. Every human being has a story, or two, or more, of challenge. We need to tell these stories as did the prophets of the Bible. Our stories help others know that God holds us close – bit and bridle close. Thank You Lord Jesus.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John