” . . . the Lord disciplines (trains) those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Prov. 13:12

Are you in a tough spot? Challenges seem overwhelming? Weary? Sad? Discouraged?

If you saw the movie “WARHORSE,” you may remember the scene where, in order to keep the racehorse, the boy has to teach it to pull the plow–such a hard thing to carry a heavy, boring burden in the heat and dirt when it was designed to run like the wind. But later, when the racehorse was captured, the enemy colonel tells a soldier to make another stallion pull a cart. When that stallion rears and fights the bridle, the colonel shoots it and then orders the soldier to make the racehorse pull the cart or he will shoot it too–can’t waste food on a horse that won’t contribute. When the soldier approaches, obviously anticipating angry hoofs and a weaving, snorting head, the horse not only stands still but HE LOWERS HIS HEAD for the bit and bridle, and when he is hooked up to the cart, he pulls it easily. The soldier sums up the crux of the movie: “Whoever taught you to pull the plow just saved your life.”

Segments of our life are “learning to pull the plow”–hot, boring, dirty. The Bible’s biographies are full of examples: Abraham “plowed” for 30 years waiting for promised Isaac–took matters in his own hands and produced Ishmael–but God kept His promise and called him “friend”–and he is the “Father of our Faith,” Noah spent 100 years building an ark in a never-rained world and he was daily persecuted–but he saved his family (and subsequently you and me!), Moses spent 40 years herding sheep in a desert before all his education and management skills learned in the palace came into play in delivering 6 million Children of Israel from Egyptian bondage–and he wrote the first 5 books of the Bible–still blessing you and me, David cared for sheep–so marginalized that when Prophet Samuel came to visit, the family didn’t even invite him to the dinner–during that time he wrote many of the Psalms that still bless you and me and he later became Israel’s greatest king! Are you waiting on a promise, being persecuted, wasting your talent/skills in an unappreciative environment, ignored or skipped over for honor or promotion? You may be “learning to pull the plow.” Even Jesus “endured the cross–for the joy ahead of Him”–that’s you and me!

Contentment is not a gift; it is “learned.” I challenge you to learn your “plowing” lessons so well that you will “lower your head” when you see the bit and bridle–chances are, it will “save your life.”

Before honor comes humility. Prov. 15:33


Joyce WilliamsJoyce Williams, whose family of three children has now grown to include four delightful grandchildren, lives in the beautiful Wenatchee Valley in Eastern Washington. Married for forty years to Pastor Paul Williams, she loves history and enjoys traveling, but writing is her passion, along with her family and her church, where she directs women’s ministries and leads a weekly Bible study. She served three years on the national leadership team for ASK Network, an international prayer ministry. Her first book, The Lady Rose, was published by Heartsong, and you will find her inspiring devotional blog at


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