Warhorse. (Or: The Risk)

Before the moment of victory, before my once-wrecked-heart became buoyant and light and mosaic … before the almost touchable colors of rest, there was a rather ugly fight. A pride fight. An envy fight. An I-can-do-this-all-on-my-own fight. It wasn’t glamorous or full of altruistic valor, but was crooked and unhinged and altogether sour. Do you know the kind?

Winter Horse-8989

We’ve seen ‘the answer’ before, the many varieties of the repeating mantra swiftly taking over every Pinterest quote board we’ve scrolled through. “Close your eyes. Clear your heart. Let it go.” Sigh. We read it, heck – we even sing it, and our bellies churn, knowing it’s Truth, equally knowing how unreachable it feels. “Let Go.” Just let go. We pin it, and it sits there, like a dull headache right behind the eyes. We pin it and we wonder if it will ever make its way off the screen and into our dewy 6 a.m. morning, when the floor is crackly cold beneath our feet and our mind is already restless with a fistful of worry-thoughts, insecure and fearful and loaded.

The grip is the comfort, isn’t it? We don’t let go because those thick white knuckles scream, “Can’t you see I’m doing something here?! Can’t you see I’m trying?!” The riot for our life says, “Can’t you see I need to do this? Can’t you see I’m finding out if I’m capable? Or valuable? Or enough?!”

What rope are you clinging to? What words are you shouting, holding on to that rope?

The grip becomes our vital-sign, the struggle is our IV-drip. It’s what makes us feel alive, because to let go would mean the falling; and God only knows how far, and heavy, and dark that is.

“Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory;
for all its strength, it cannot save you.”
// Psalm 33:17 //

Winter Horse Collage

The white knuckled warhorse.

That twisted, bent, self-deprecating grip. The white knuckled warhorse of fear.

I’m curious … what if you did let go of that rope?

What if you didn’t know what would happen, or what would become of yourself? Maybe you’d risk all the acceptance, control, justice, and need. Maybe you’d risk whatever it is that’s been tangled up in that rope. Good grief, the risk feels high.

But what if the ground is actually not so far beneath you? What if the floor of Christ sits just beneath your dangling toes, and the Hope your knuckles scream out for is sprawled out, waiting for your let-go? What if you loosened the grip and you let yourself drop to the soft ground of Comfort, and your body is finally allowed to curl and nestle and weep? What if the hand of God touches your ache? What if you can now take a deep breath and the oxygen you breathe is no longer stale recycled air, but is pure nourishment, and sunlight, and freedom? What if the let-go is your ‘capable’What if the ground is your ‘valuable’? What if Christ is your ‘enough’?

Fear made me believe I had to hold on to it in order to survive. Fear told me it owned me, that I had no choice. That life without this struggle was empty and unrealistic and for the ‘silly little dreamers.’ Fear was my rope.

But it was wrong. Victory came in when I let my poor knuckles have a break, and I loosened that crippling tension between me and those woven strings of fear. When we make the choice to release the grip and fall into freedom, that is the victory. When we can stand up on the floor of Hope, with heavy knees and raw hands, we’ve done it. We’ve overcome, and the victory is here and alive and moving. Because everything we were ever fighting for comes when we let Him in. It’s the welcome, yet almost uncomfortable truth. He gives it: the value, the justice, the fulfilling. He gives us a place to stand and a space to deeply live. Isn’t that what we wanted all along? There … dangling on our rope? Wasn’t that us up there, fighting for a firm footing? Fighting for a steadied mind? Fighting for permission to just breakdown already and stand up again?

The victory is in the let-go.

“We put our hope in the Lord, for he is our help and our shield.”
// Psalm 33:20 //

Hallelujah.

Hallelujah for the helping. Hallelujah for the shielding. Because my white knuckles never would have found me freedom. The release is worth it. The learning, worth it.

The hope-covered ground is waiting. Because you are loved, the floor of Christ waits for your release. Victory is in your story, in your veins. Victory, friend, is your inheritance; the thing that we’ll forever keep.

5 thoughts on “Warhorse. (Or: The Risk)

  1. Hallelujah. The words ring gently in my head as I sit and absorb this beautiful work of art. Thank you for your thoughts, insight, and boldness in sharing them, Krystina! I have this beautiful picture in my head of my rope burned hands releasing and my body landing–standing–on a solid, deeply grained wood floor. It’s a beautiful vision created through the intricacy and depth of your words. Keep writing, this world needs your thoughts!

  2. This is so beautiful, Krystina. Thank you for writing this out and sharing it – I haven’t read something so relatable and full of real truth in a long time. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  3. That is real…and beautiful…and incredibly inspiring. It moved me to tears…tears of action. I am letting go! I can sense the freedom rising…the pure joy of it! Thank you for sharing your poetic, meaningful, soul drenched words of life…thank you for sharing you and Him with us. Without Him we can do nothing…with Him everything is possible! Victory is ours!!

  4. Praise God for your victory & for sharing your beautiful words of everlasting hope. You are an amazing woman! I love you Krystina!

  5. A bit long winded here …

    When I close my eyes to picture the image of a warhorse, I imagine a scene from the Lord of the Rings, where the Nazgûl ride strong, black warhorses that were fearlessly and fiercely galloping and snorting, nostrils flaring, with dark eyes focused ahead on their target. Not too different from image in Job 39, where warhorses are depicted charging directly into the lines of men and chariots, galloping into the enemy line. The warhorse is fearless, does not turn away, is willing to collide into the enemy, as it “eats up the ground”. A picture of my life before Christ …

    Then, there is the wonderful NT account of our Lord Jesus Christ riding a colt into the City of Jerusalem that fulfilled Zechariah’s OT prophecy. (Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey). One of the (perhaps) smaller miracles on Palm Sunday was that the animal that Jesus rode into Jerusalem was one that “no one has ever ridden”. Usually animals have to be “broken” before someone can ride it. I imagine Jesus passing through the surging, chaotic crowds of “loud voices praising Him, while riding that unbroken colt, who does not bolt despite being ridden for the first time.

    Why doesn’t the colt bolt? Because Jesus is on board! He has the power to tame what has never been tamed, including the animal inside of me. One week later, Jesus blew death away at Calvary. He has the power to conquer in us what we cannot conquer ourselves. We are tamed when we hand over the reins to Him. Step onto “the floor of Christ”, onto our rock, the cornerstone of our faith. We do not need to rely on a warhorse for our victory. Christ is our victory.

    Jumping ahead to the closing segment of this age, Revelation 19 describes how our Lord Jesus Christ, who is Faithful and True, will ride upon a majestic, powerful white warhorse, with a mane that flows whiter than white in the brightness of heaven. The rider judges and makes war against the enemy, who will be defeated by a sword that advances out of the mouth of the Lord, in the last major battle, before time flows into eternity. Christ is our victory and we in Him are victorious.

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