It happens, right close to my home town a real live rodeo!! We went to go and see it one year. It was fantastic!
There was barrel and steer racing, tiedown roping and clowns!! Rodeo clowns!! It didn’t take long to notice that these colourfully dressed, silly acting men were needed beyond entertainment. They were protection experts to those in the ring.
Right at the end of the evening there was major hype! For a rookie like me, I didn’t know what was going to happen but knew it was extremely dangerous by the tone of the announcer’s voice and lighting. It was time for the bull riding!!
Out of the bucking shoot storms a massive bull, jumping and bucking with all its might to rid the rider on top of it.
I don’t pretend to know the first thing about bull riding except for what I saw.
What I noticed and the image that has stuck with me is the bull rider’s hand hold. One hand holds onto a rope while the other is free.
It was the contradiction of the rider’s hand placement that has caught my attention.
Oftentimes, when I am wrestling with gigantic obstacles, all I can do is hold on with white knuckles. I hold onto the promises and truths to me, written throughout the Bible clutching them and not letting go.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 12 & 13
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Simultaneously, I need to let go of all those things that are not in my control and lift my hand in freedom and in submission; asking for God’s help. I can’t fix them, I can’t change them, I can’t try harder; work harder. I can’t figure out or understand or solve my way out of. Like the 1500-pound bull, many problems are just too immense for me to handle.
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
It is only when I do these two paradoxical resolutions at the same time that my time with the beast ends; the terrifying ride is over and the war is won for me in victory!
No, you will never find me on top of a bull. Never.
But you will find me trying to follow a bull rider’s hand hold. Clutching with white knuckles to my Jesus while letting go of those things not meant for me to hold onto and letting God!!