On the Side: June 2023
When I sit among the women of our local Side By Side chapter, I sit among power. Wives of physicians, some physicians themselves, some experts in other fields, some nursing stay-at-home moms. A group diverse in age and background and current employment, but always powerful.
I’m left with a similar feeling when I get the chance to interact with the local medical students. These are powerful young people. Last month, Michael McLaughlin, Western Regional Director of Christian Medical & Dental Associations, spoke to the students about meekness. My husband, who serves as a leader to the students, brought the topic home, where it’s been festering.
Matthew 5:5 says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” (ESV). Honestly, it’s not a top-10 verse for me because meek sounds weak, but Michael related it to horses. Apparently, in a different era, taming a horse from the wild was called “meeking” a horse. We have three horses; I can see them from my window as I write. They’re old now, but two were rodeo horses, and one drove cattle in the Northern Cascade Mountain Range. I didn’t know cattle could be driven on the side of a mountain, until I met Duke. Even in their senior years, their power is impressive. They are anything but weak.
Untrained horses are just as powerful, but when we think of wild stallions, there’s always a shade of recklessness. Their strength and agility are astounding, yet useless for work, rodeos, cattle driving or in different times, battles. War horses were said to be “meeked,” so they would be useful in battles rather than flee. The horses needed to listen to authority over the sound of cannons. While horses are some of God’s most powerful animals, He also made them fearful. From my window, I can see this fear unfold. My kids (and their mom) recently got into remote control cars. Of course, the horses were unfamiliar with these bright speedsters, so the first time they zoomed down our long smooth driveway, all three of our stallions came unglued. There was a galloping bucking herd on one side of the horse fence kicking up a tornado of dust, and zippy pink miniature jeep weaving down the driveway on the other. The same thing can happen when the skateboards come out or when we drag the garbage can down to the road. I know, so scary, right?
Horses, on their own, are both powerful and fearful. Their fear is overcome, and their power becomes useful when they submit to their rider. They can ignore the commotion around them when they stay focused on what the rider is asking them to do.
The onset of summer often brings commotion. Some of us are uprooting to new cities. Some of us are losing incredible Side By Side members to those new cities. Some are becoming moms, while others are chipping stuck cereal off the floor for the thousandth time today. Still others are launching into new jobs while some launch grown kids into the real world. Bustle abounds. Fear can become a lurker. For a moment, I want to remind you of the powerful women you are, filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit and yielded to His power. We embrace meekness toward our Maker as we focus on Jesus and hold our lives in open hands before Him.
We may feel both powerful and fearful. That’s ok. When we submit to God, fear is overcome, and His power becomes useful through us. The world’s commotion fades when we focus on what He has asked us to do.
May “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace”, (Numbers 6:24-26, NIV).
Shelly is wife to her manly medical man and mom to four kids. She has been a physical therapist and stay-at-home mom and is currently a full-time chauffeur and laundromat. She also loves being an artist and freelance writer. You can find her work at merge52.com.