Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Stallion on Eagle's Wings

If you are interested in watching The Waltons re-runs,
they air M-F on the Inspiration Network,
channel 364 on DirecTV.

I watched a re-run of an old Walton's episode recently. It was entitled "The Wild Mustang".  Like most of their episodes, at least two stories are told in one episode.  This one was no different.  This portion of the episode was about a wild Mustang stallion roaming free on Walton's Mountain.  The stallion was captured by a towns person and held in a pen for onlookers to see, at a price of course. 

The Grandfather, being the naturalist that he is, is furious and demands that Sheriff Epps return the stallion to Walton's Mountain.  The Sheriff reluctantly explains that he cannot do this because the stallion isn't owned by the Walton clan and tells the Grandfather that he must possess a Bill of Sale for the animal or the animal must bear a brand that indicates ownership. 

The stallion inevitably escapes and returns to the mountain.  After hearing this, the Grandfather formulates a plan to catch the stallion and brand him with the Walton brand.  So, the Grandfather sets out to fashion a branding iron and puts his plan into action.   The Grandfather, the Father, John Boy, Jason, Ben and Kurt (the son-in-law), head out for the mountain. 

While the Grandfather and John  Boy construct a holding pen and build a fire to heat the branding iron, the other men manage to capture the stallion.  With some fuss, they cajole the stallion into the holding pen and within minutes, the deed is done.  The stallion is now official Walton property and can never legally be removed from the mountain. 

As the episode closes, the wild Mustang stallion gallops off into the forest running freely where he pleases.  At last, the stallion has true freedom, free from the worry of capture and removal from his home against his will.  His freedom comes from the fact that he now has a benefactor who 'owns' him and guarantees his freedom.  Anyone who comes upon the stallion will know immediately of his benefactor because of the brand placed on his hind quarters. 

I see the parallel of this stallion to my own life.  I was free to roam in this world as I pleased.  I felt safe within the home of my parents.  Then, one day that sense of security, stability and freedom was shattered when my innocence was stolen by a man who refused to respect my boundaries and honor my place in my family. 

For many years, I felt confined within the 'pen' of guilt and shame left by this man's sin.  I felt as though my life had been stolen from me.  The bars of an unforgiving heart held me captive and kept me from returning to my life of freedom.  After a lifetime of living within those bars, I finally found forgiveness in my heart for that man.  Once I did, it was as though God reminded me that He had placed His brand on my heart long before that individual entered my life.  The deeds of another stole the joy of the freedom that experience brought to me. 

When I was willing to forgive that person, my life was returned.  The joy of that refound freedom is so much more dear to me.  I now feel as that stallion must have felt, free to run among the beauty of the life God has given me.  Free to enjoy the blessings He has placed in my life and secure in knowing that His brand is on my heart.  I can choose never to allow anyone to steal my life from me again.  I can choose never to be confined in the 'pens' of this world again. 

Bad experiences may again come into my life, but I can choose to confidently claim my brand and walk freely from the bars those experiences may attempt to place on me.  I am bought with a price; my benefactor made my place in His family secure.  No one can take that from me and no experience can rob me of the joy of that relationship unless I allow it.  I am free to run with the winds of the Holy Spirit buoying me as I go.  I can ride on eagle's wings into each new phase of my life with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord
is the Lord’s freed person;
similarly, the one who was free when called
is Christ’s slave.
You were bought at a price;
do not become slaves of human beings.

1 Corinthians 7: 22-23  (NIV, 2011)

Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Isaiah 40: 30-31  (NASB)


Felisol said...

Dear Dianne,
what a strong and moving story your life is; so many stories actually and so many evidences about God's fidelity and love.
I know that feeling about not being able to forgive, when the only prayer I could say was, "Lord, help me forgive."
Even when I prayed without much belief and bitterness kept coming back, the Lord finally freed me from my bitterness and healed my wounds.

I praise the Lord that you again are able to run free and enjoy the life God intended you to have.
I see you as a chestnut horse running strongly and happily with sun in your hair.
May this spring be filled with blessings and joy and your cup flowing over.
Hugs from Felisol

Terry said...

dear diane..of all of the walton episodes, i don't think that it was just mere chance that the lord led you to this episode and here you use it for his glory,
diane, i well remember when you were staying in iowa with your niece and nephew and your great niece and nephew!...i followed each of your posts and really enjoyed your pictures!...and so many family stories!
diane, thank you for your visit to my blog and thank you so much for your prayers for far everything has been going well, as far as what treatment he will be receiving...
diane, when the waltons were shown every night a few years back, dad golden taped them every night for me...just last year walmart had the whole series for sale and i picked them all up but to me the ones that dad golden took the time to tape for me are to me a real treasure that i will keep forever..
ha! at the same time a few years back, he would tape mom golden the billy graham crusades...what a softie he really is...he told me once that billy graham was the only tv preacher that he trusted!
thanks again for your prayers dear terry

Cyndi Lacefield said...

Loved this! Isn't it great how God will use things like T.V shows or stories we read to help us see revelations of his love? Awesome, simply awesome! Branded with the mark of the Lord so we can be free whooweee! Good stuff, sister : )

Pat said...

This is good writing sister! Wow, this needs to be in Guidepost or something so others can also see the freedom of belonging to Christ!

Diane said...

Thank you ladies, all of you. I so appreciate your encouragement. So many have encouraged me to write a book and I'm now seriously praying about doing just that. I went by the clinic today and ordered all of Terry's old medical records for research purposes. I think reading them will remind me of the experience along the way and all the many ways the Lord was faithful to us, right up until Terry's home going. I must say, I feel excited at the prospect! Thanks again girls; I love you all!

Many hugs........


Trish said...

I have just discovered the Walton's
again...Oh, it so ministered to my soul last week. Awesome post Dianne!

Trish said...

For so long people were burdened with the shame of depression. The words "Oh, you have to have faith that God will heal you." I struggled for several years and finally my wise, caring Dr. said I think we should try an anti-depressant. I was so ready by was life altering! It was a has even helped control my OCD tendencies. Praise God, through my experience I have been able to counsel with others and tell them "It is an illness. We take medications for High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart problems etc. and there is no shame in that! So, I refuse to be under condemnation. God is healing me...with medication."
Thank you for this Post...Love you!

Diane said...

Trish....yes, I always say that God uses everything He has to bring healing to us. Sometimes, it is supernatural, others it is by way of surgical intervention, then He may choose to use medications, or He may simply bring us home to Him! Whatever the resource, it is ALL divine healing! Love you my sister!

Many hugs......