I revealed Myself to those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. Isaiah 65:1
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
Even favorable circumstances won’t force one to do something one doesn’t want to, as in…
“We’ve gotten all the college catalogs but he still hasn’t applied.”
This metaphoric term dates from the 12th century and was in John Heywood’s proverb collection of 1546 (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/you-can-lead-a-horse-to-water-but-you-can-t-make-it-drink).
I’ve witnessed a stubborn horse first hand. It’s not pretty. Getting a lamb to poke its head into the mouth of a lion or, how about this, getting an adolescent to divorce her iPhone from her hand for a day – no, fifteen minutes – has to be easier than trying to maneuver one of God’s finest animals to drink from the water’s edge if, for whatever reason, they just won’t.
The encouragement here is…
It’s God Who makes a horse consume water. Or not.
It’s God Who sends the rain. Or not.
It’s God Who causes growth. Or not.
It’s God Who reveals Himself to those who aren’t asking for Him. Or not.
It’s God Who is found by those who are not seeking Him. Or not.
I might feel justified in folding my arms in frustration when it won’t drink, but had I ever stopped to consider that the pond water I’ve dragged my horse to drink from may be tainted? Or that he may not be thirsty? And that only God knows that?
I can try a different approach with a horse, assure his water bucket is slick and clean with an ideal temperature of not too cold or too warm, every day, all year long. And even though the average horse might need to drink up to 20 gallons a day, it still isn’t about the water or the horse.
Many times I’ve assured my oh-so-helpful self that I’m doing a good thing to insist that my horse draws fresh water from his bucket when, in reality, I’m shouting over the Spirit’s work in the life of that (stubborn) horse.
At the end of the day, it isn’t about the water or the horse, but about me following where the Master Horseman is leading me in my present circumstances.
Am I drinking His water?
Simply put, God is sovereign.
My all-knowing, all-powerful, all-wise and sovereign God is revealing Himself to those who aren’t asking, creating a thirst within, and making Himself findable. Or not. And guiding me repeatedly to the water of His word so that I might drink.
After all, it’s His water and His horse to begin with.