African Blessings Blog



The Blog is Written by Rita Edkins, African Blessings’ Missions Director

The instruction was very simple, trust in Me and in your repentance and you will find yourselves in a place of resting in Me. If you do simply this, I will ensure your salvation. Everything will be just fine if you just do as I say. The message was heard and the message was told. The instruction was ignored. Instead, they mounted their strong and swift horses, rode them into the desert and endeavoured to flee from their enemies! The instruction was given by God Almighty and the decision was taken by arrogant and childish men. They were determined to prove that they were well able to find their own man-made solution to their dilemma. God had told them to put their trust in Him and by just being still and remaining quiet, they would have the strength to overcome and receive the victory. They chose to rely on their own understanding and also on their horses and chariots. By doing this they brought suffering and loss, to both man and beast. (Isaiah 230 and 31)

In contrast, there is a horse in a field. She makes a peaceful picture indeed. To sit beneath the penny-gun tree and look at Vanilla, a rescue horse is a privileged moment in time; a moment entirely free of strife. She is so calm and so trusting and her giving nature is a testimony of the thankfulness. It is as I watch her that my mind wandered to the Isaiah 30 and 31 encounter of an entirely different kind. Vanilla receives what she deserves and she gives back to us generously, her trust in humankind restored and many lessons learned from her. She has taught me patience. She has taught me that trust is earned. She has taught me, the scars do heal, and she has taught me that forgiveness is sometimes a process and a healing balm to the soul. She is a reward to all who have the privilege of meeting her.

Vanilla standing in a field

The strong-willed and selfish warriors mentioned in Isaiah 30 and 31 accounts are not a once-off scene of wickedness, evil and lack of concern for animals in their care. They still exist today. Regrettably, I have the displeasure of facing many of these bullies; their cruel and wicked deeds going unpunished and most turning a “blind eye” from the Cape to Cairo. I have met them in both these areas. We as humans are poor stewards of those, man and beast, who cannot or dare not speak up for themselves; shame on us as we refuse to be the voice of the voiceless. Horses are complex creatures. They are both strong and magnificent. In the book of Job, God asks him a question; “Do you give the horse his strength or clothe his neck with a flowing mane? Do you make him leap like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting?” (Job 39:19 & 20) This I do know: as I read the Bible, our Creator knows every creature in fine detail and we should respect his intent. He has not hidden His plan for them from us. God is good and we should reflect His goodness. “A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs.” (Proverbs 12:10)

Saul of Taurus, who became Paul the Apostle, was on a mission of death to murder Christians. He was determinedly on route to Damascus to fulfil his evil plan. While on his way, he was knocked off his horse by a bright light and Jesus spoke to him. He listened and changed the world for the better. This is illumination and it takes place when we have “the lights go on”. Have you seen the bright light; the bright light of Jesus Christ? He is the brightest light that you will ever see and when you do, you will see the world through new eyes. The death-wish becomes the life-wish. Cruelty will be replaced by the thoughtfulness and kindness. Greed will be replaced by generosity. Hate will be replaced by love.

Rita Edkins giving Vanilla a hug

Illumination, as I have experienced it, is when we trust God and we become trustworthy with what is His. He loves us and we should love what He loves; all of His creation. Watching Vanilla, having walked a long journey with her – from her rescue to her gradual recovery and now her restored life, has been a privileged journey for which I am so very grateful. Vanilla is grazing in a field, close to her beautiful stable; she is surrounded by other rescue horses. Vanilla’s eye-sight is waning and she needs much care and gentleness and a good measure of patience. She swishes her tail so that those inevitable flies can be set to flight. Occasionally she stamps a leg to shoo the irritation of flies from her. At regular intervals, she looks up at me and I am blessed to gaze into her eyes. I see her through illuminated sight, she sees me through fading, yet trusting and intent eyes. How thankful I am for the privilege of having played a minute part in her rehabilitation. Vanilla always brings a consistent message of hope, unconditional acceptance and joy. Vanilla is no longer just a horse in a field; she is a living testimony.

Walking away, I must say a heartfelt prayer for cruel and wicked men and women who believe that their deeds, choices and actions are acceptable. I pray that illumination will reach them and that a merciful God will encounter them and that they, like the Apostle Paul, will turn.

“One person with courage is a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Blog is Written By:

Rita Edkins

African Blessings’ Missions Director

Adapted from: Sitting in His presence.