Horses do everything out of survival. It is how God wired them to ensure his beautiful creation would survive. In the wild, horses are extremely aware of their surroundings and when they detect something is unsafe, they feel that pressure and RUN FROM IT, similarly to how animals like deer and wild rabbits naturally respond to the presence of a human. Moving away from pressure allows them to remain healthy (aka alive). Likewise, Jesus would move away from pressure. Anytime he felt the pressure of people pushing him away from the will of His father in Heaven, he would move away from it. He knew that in order to remain healthy (aka connected to the Father) he would need to choose only His will. We see this when Jesus interacted with the Pharisees. He didn’t move toward them. He would answer their questions then retreat.
While horses move away from pressure, they instinctively move INTO pain. What is remarkable to me, is that the moment horses are in pain, they don’t try to run away. They push into/through it. An example of this is when horses in the wild have a predator already attacking them. They do not just run, because the pain is already occurring they will fight back against the predator. Think of the bite of a mountain lion… would it be more painful to pull against the bite or lean into the bite and then fight? **hint: the second one** What did Jesus do with pain? You can probably guess where I am going with this now… Jesus moved INTO pain. We see this demonstrated in a big way at the cross, but we also see this throughout the New Testament. Jesus moved into pain when Lazarus died. He came to comfort his family and then to ultimately resurrect his friend from death.
So, how do we discern if something is pressure or pain? We look beyond what we are seeing as pressure or pain toward the outcome. We ask ourselves, would pressing into this be freeing or lead me to bondage? If the answer is bondage, it is pressure. If the answer is freedom then it is pain.
This has transformed my life and my relationships with people. It has allowed me to recognize when something is mine to deal with or not. I have learned that sometimes it is okay to walk away from relationships and sometimes we are meant to press into relationship and work through problems.