Living Hope Ministries
PO Box 1333
Boone, NC 28607

(828) 773-2864
Trust: Key to Relationships

Our last news letter was about “Join-up”, the concept about how man and horse can partner together through relationship. The key ingredient in this concept is how the man develops trust with the horse in such a way that the horse can come to the man and not run away. Horses, by nature, are fear base and flight animals. Many of us can be the same way, living in fear much of the time, learning it is easier to run away, withdraw, isolate from our relationships and problems. Learning to face our problems and relationship difficulties comes down to trusting enough to open our heart to see healing and restoration take place.

I came upon a short story written by Francis Frangipane that I think highlights this very issue which I believe will minister greatly to your heart.

"“My wife and I were bird-sitting our oldest daughter ’s pet conure. A conure is about half the size of a parrot with similar coloring. However, this creature was hostile. Each time I’d touch the cage, it would squawk and try to bite me. After several initiatives at being nice, I concluded, “Who needs this? If I’'m going to be attacked, I can be attacked at church.” I made a silent evaluation that we had been given a “killer conure.” Obviously, I concluded, this bird came from the wrong side of the tracks. My wife decided, however, she was going to love this bird. Even though it was just as aggressive toward her as it was with me, my wife relentlessly kept loving the bird. Each time she fed it by hand, the bird attacked, taking chunks of skin with each bite. Denise would yell in pain, then instantly return to talking softly, reaching into the cage with food. After a week, the bird finally began to relax. Her survival instincts, based on my wife’s gentle response to being attacked, convinced the bird that Denise was not a predator, but a friend. Soon, it permitted Denise to reach into its cage without attacking her. A couple days later, I discovered this aggressive little finger-eater perched lovingly upon my wife’s shoulder, its little round head snuggled warmly against her neck, cooing in her ear. Denise won the heart of this little bird: it loved, because she first loved it. You see, the problem with the bird was not aggression, but fear. My wife allowed herself to be wounded so that trust could be established; when wounded, she did not retaliate, and she won its trust. As I watched this little drama unfold, I saw something basic, yet profound, concerning God’s relationship with us. Trust is not an accident; it is the result of love that pays a price. Isn'’t this the way of the Lord with our own hearts? He came to us, yet we wounded Him. We crucified God’s son. Yet instead of retaliating, Jesus forgave us. He proved over and over again that His love was safe, that he is not our enemy. We expect judgment but receive mercy; we sin, yet He works to restore us to Himself. “It is His kindness,” the scriptures say, “that lead us to repentance” Romans 2:4. He repeatedly shows Himself trustworthy, merciful, and loving, knowing that, in time, we will come to rest in His goodness. And as we do, we let Him reach into our cage; we climb upon his hand, and He carries us on His shoulders. I recognized that this attitude, which I saw in my wife, was actually the Lord’s heart. As He has been to us, so he wants us to be toward others, even those who are hostile and alienated from us. Trust must be established before love can heal. We must prove, not just in word, but in deed, that we are trustworthy.”"

What an awesome story about how trust and love brings healing in the most unlikely and difficult circumstances. God desires that we become that vessel of love and trust to those around us who have never
known or experience Him in that way. I John 4:16, reads, “We have come to know and have believed the
love which God has for us, God is love, and the one who abides in God and God abides in him.” Scriptures
also read in Psalm 9:10, “Those who know your name (literally nature and character) will put their trust in
you.” God wants us to know that we can trust him with our very lives, circumstances, troubles, relationship
difficulties and hearts. Our desire at Living Hope Ministries is to be that vessel of love and trust that comes alongside you to see you become all that God created.

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