I got startled awake by this cowboy screaming, “Drop the reins! Drop the reins!” You see, there was this wagon train and there was one disgruntled, fearful member of the train that wanted to cross the river one night because the Apaches might attack.
The cowboy I heard was the wagon master and he knew that there was quicksand and whirlpools in the river and they could not be seen well enough to avoid during the dark hours, so they had to wait till morning. This grumpy traveler could not wait so he makes his wife and kids get in their wagon and off he goes into the river. The wagon master wants to rescue this man and his family, but first he has to get this guy to drop the reins and stop driving his team into the dangerous waters.
Whenever I need a power nap, I turn on my husband’s favorite TV channel, the western station. If I’m not at work in the late afternoon, and I’ve been up since before the break of dawn, it really helps to get a few zzz’s to recharge before the rest of the day hits, if you know what I mean.
Usually I can sleep through the gunfights and saloon brawls but this day “Drop the reins!” really got me. It was like a Carrie Underwood “Jesus Take the Wheel” moment. And it hit me hard because I’ve been having many anxious moments lately caused by worrying about a situation that I can’t fix.
Sometimes you have to just “Drop the Reins!” so God can reign.
When you’re in the dark, and you just don’t know how and where to go or what to do. When you want to be in charge and you realize that you don’t know enough to charge through the situation without sinking. When you realize that you really aren’t the one in control and that scares you to death.
Have you had those nights when sleep won’t come because you replay “stuff” in your head, over and over and you can’t seem to stop it? This can’t be what God wants. He wants us to live trusting Him for the answers that we just can’t seem to find. He wants us to remember that He’s there, working things out for our good and His glory. He wants us to know that when we think about things that worry us and we have no solution for them, we have to “Drop the Reins!” He wants us to realize that He reigns from a throne so high that there is absolutely nothing that escapes His view and with a heart so loving He will allow absolutely anything that He knows will cause us to become all He created us to be.
But how do we do this? How do we let go of the reins when we think that so much is at stake that we think we might be able to control? Here is what He told me for the umpteenth time last night in the after midnight hours when sleep wouldn’t come. I went to that part of my brain that houses Philippians 4 and pulled out some of my favorite verses.
6 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”
This is only one of the reasons why scripture memorization is so worthwhile. There is nothing as powerful as God’s Word when we are in those places where we are too exhausted to even read. His teachings and His promises can be merely a thought away.
At some point, after replaying His Word in my mind, I drifted off to sleep. I dropped the reins, I got out of my wagon, took the cares I had with me and allowed Jesus to rescue me. I remembered the wagon master and how he tried to save that family. I remembered my Lord, my Master, and His gentle words through scripture and I gave up the reins so He could reign. Is there anything you might need to just drop so He can reign in your heart and rescue you today?