Arabian/Welsh Cob

Chestnut, Gelding | DOB: 2008 | ARRIVAL: 01/11/2018 | 14:2 Hands HANDS

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.”
– Romans 5:11 (NLT)

In November of 2018, a spunky little horse arrived at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. With him came his half-sister, both finely bred Welsh-Arab crosses. Their bloodlines bestowed on them the small, sturdy stature of ponies complimented by the keen, inquiring minds of their Arabian mothers.  Both were strong, young horses with great capacity for a lifetime of loving children.

Their owner, who had raised them from birth, was in the process of caring for her elderly parents. Working and caretaking fulltime left little room to care for her cherished friends.  Despite the high value and potential of selling them into the performance world, she generously gifted them to the children at Crystal Peaks.

After receiving the initial inquiry, Kim and Sarah traveled to the Oregon valley to do an on-site evaluation. They observed the young horses’ owner handle each creature with kindness and grace.  Watching the small, sandy-chestnut colored gelding in motion, Sarah immediately received the impression his new name was “Jude.”  His eyes flashed with fiery intelligence and inquisitive willingness – reading each nuance of his owner’s silent body language.

Eagerly, they made arrangements for both horses to join the Crystal Peaks family.  Shortly thereafter, “Jude” and “Liberty Belle” entered the active, yet peaceful bustle of life on the Ranch.

At first, Jude’s spirited personality surprised us with his slightly wary and skeptical behavior.  When riders entered the paddock to catch him, he occasionally seemed to play, “catch me if you can”.  This little horse clearly had no interest in complacently complying with human demands.  With curiosity, we wondered why he acted with such suspicion.  He was masterfully trained and had no history of abuse, probable reasons for this type of cautious behavior.

Finally the realization dawned on us.  He simply desired friendship… a friendship that prioritized sincerity over impatient, sneaky attempts to request his cooperation.

Several children began finding a mission to befriend our new boy.  Amazed, we watched these youngsters relinquish opportunities to ride, instead asking to spend time with Jude on the ground.  They wanted to show him they sincerely wanted to be his friend without requesting anything in return.

Soon, Jude was satisfied with their patient persistence.  He often was the first to greet these children when they stepped into the herd.  With trust and good faith established, the little warrior happily carried his flurry of two-legged comrades around the Ranch.

Jude’s spunky nature, alert to the slightest infringement on true relationship, emphasizes an important truth for us to remember.

Friendship is something to carefully steward and guard unwaveringly… before moving on to anything else. When protected, joy, freedom, and unity flow naturally from this treasured bedrock of relationship.

“So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” – Romans 5:11 (NLT)

When Jesus died on the cross, His blood made a way to restore our relationship with God. We are His friends, if we obediently surrender to the cleansing blood of Jesus.  True friendship isn’t a sneaky attempt at personal gain; it is a free gift of love. 

God is not interested in simply meeting all of our requests for His cooperation – He wants us to set aside our agendas and come in faith.  He wants us to know Him as friends.

The book of Jude tells us:

“Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.” – Jude 1:3

The Greek word used for “contend” means to oppose “with skill and commitment” whatever is not of faith.  Do we, with skill and commitment, call out and expose, like this little horse, every infringement on true friendship with God?

In the Bible, Jude was a man with his heart set on heaven but his boots planted firmly in walking out a daily, faultless, relationship with Jesus.  He desired to talk about the wonders of salvation, but felt led to address the need for purity of faith. Likewise, this little horse, with a heart of fiery purity, insists upon true, uncompromising relationship with his leaders.

Similar to Jude and these children, when we purify our intentions and heart to prioritize our relationship with Jesus, our Friend and Constant Companion, He carries us.  Close to the heart of our King, joy, freedom, and sweet unity flow from His presence. 

From this sweet bedrock of faith, in wonder, we rejoice as friends of God.