“Go to the village ahead of you,” He told them, “and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt beside her. Untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” Matthew 21:2-3
I really love donkeys. They are cute and stubborn and not like horses at all. They are more aggressive, bold, and sometimes will actually kill a coyote. Donkeys just, I don’t know, it’s hard to fully tame a donkey, even though we’ve been trying to do it for centuries. They are a bit like cats that way.
The tale of grand theft donkey always makes me laugh. What I appreciate there is that the Lord often changes the “rules” on you. I mean, go steal a donkey. The Lord has need of it. Simple, direct, cut, and dry.
Morally, technically, everything belongs to the Lord anyway, so it isn’t actually “grand theft donkey.” Besides He did say If anyone says anything to you… just tell them the Lord has need of it. Makes perfect sense to me, but this is one of those times where you just want to explain the Lord’s word to Him, mention the part about how, “thy shall not steal.”
The Lord is very kind to us. He will never contradict His word, nor cause you to go against your conscience, nor fail to provide as much confirmation as you need, nor leave you hanging in moral ambiguity. The Lord knows us and He is kind to us.
It’s a bit funny, I would happily “steal” a donkey. You may call me a horse thief if you like, but my conscience would not raise much of a fuss. There are many other things in this walk of life however, that have given me great pause. Emotional things, spiritual things, nothing illegal, just some things that have felt so counter intuitive. Things that have triggered doubt, sent me back to the word.
Often, I was simply lost in the “rules,” lost in misunderstanding, lost in misinterpretations. When you’re actually in prayer, when you’re listening to His still quiet voice, it’s simply unmistakable. That concept often makes people very nervous. We want a manual, we want a handbook, we want to refer God Himself to section 12, sub-paragraph 7b.
Also, we’re rather concerned some nutty woman may start nipping the cooking sherry, now convinced the voice of God Himself has instructed her to go steal some donkeys. Which He may well have, and if He has, I will cheerfully go steal some donkeys for the Lord. So perhaps you really should be afraid, one never knows what I might do…..
I’m pretty firmly rooted, rooted in the Lord, rooted in reason and common sense, so I have learned to trust in His voice. Perhaps if I didn’t have that root, that grounding, that tether, it would be a different matter. Just the same, I am really bothered by those who cling to the “rules,” for dear life, because that demonstrates a reliance on our own understanding, rather than trusting in the Lord’s leadership.
Life often comes at you from six different directions at once, each circumstance is different, and we can’t always see each piece of the puzzle coming around the next bend. There isn’t a map, there is a Shepherd.
My favorite verse in life is, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6