Just got back from a ride on Radar. Not one of our more stellar workouts--he was what I call "flat and runny." Perhaps not a real technical dressage term, but the description is accurate. Anyway, at the end of our ride, I took him back to the barn to untack, and as always, when I removed the bridle, I got out my soft rubber groomer to scratch and massage his jaw, head, and ears in all the places where he sweats beneath the bridle. He just loves that part, nuzzling into me and moving his head up and down to show me where the itches are. And I love doing it just to see his response. Afterward, I offered him a handful of his favorite peppermint treats, and while he nibbled, I showered him with love, snuggles, and kisses on his warm, velvety eyelids.
Was I thinking about what a "bad" horse he'd been out in the arena? All the mistakes he made, the times he didn't listen to my aids and did his own thing? When his balance was off, when his back flattened, when he seemed to run out from under me completely out of control? Nope, not once. It was all forgotten, water under the bridge, as far from my mind as east is from west.
Why? Because I love him. Always. Unconditionally. Whether he's having a good day or a bad day. And I praise God because that's exactly the way He loves me. We may have to work through some difficult times when I'm being rebellious, when I don't listen, when I run away from God, when my life is out of kilter. But God never stops loving me. And when "lesson time" is over, all my mistakes are forgotten. God casts them far, far away. Out of sight. Out of mind. Off the record books. Permanently. God isn't waiting for me to be perfect before He lavishes His love on me. Because of Christ, I am already perfectly lovable in His sight. Amen!