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  • Writer's pictureJulie Branstetter

Butts to the Wind

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

NC Wild Horses

One of the many beautiful wonders of the North Carolina coast are the Banker Horses living along the barrier islands of the Outer Banks. In 2010, the Spanish Mustang was designated the official state horse as these majestic wild horses have become a favorite and common sight to see along the islands. Not only are they stunning, but the history behind their habitation is quite interesting. Many believe they have only been on the islands for around 500 years. They quite literally came to live on the barrier islands by swimming for their lives out of the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic' from the many historical shipwrecks in the early years of the settling of America. Many believe the original horses were also abandoned on the islands during conflicts between Spaniards, Indians and Englishmen during that time as well.

Just recently in North Carolina, as is common at the end of summer and beginning of autumn season, Coastal Carolinians went through the process of battening down the hatches as we prepared for Hurricane Dorian to blow through. We were mostly fortunate as the hurricane weakened and turned out just enough to only skim the coastline leaving a scratch or two here and there. After the storm left us, the sun popped out, and the skies were aglow again with summer light, and yes, the air was saturated in humidity. I thought about all the running and buying and preparing that people do before the storm comes through, and this left me wondering, where do the horses go? Some of the horses are being cared for and protected along the coast presently, however, these gorgeous animals are not accustomed to needing barns or shelters built for them, or people to take care of them. What they need is for people not to interfere with them and the land they thrive on, however, how do they prepare for the amazing winds that come off the angry seas? They have survived for 500 years on a coastal way fraught with tumultuous weather.

These wild horses have a tremendous will power to survive. In fact they often do similarly to what we humans do to prepare for the storm. But strangely, when humans go through spiritual struggles, they sometimes do the opposite of what makes sense when faced with physical danger. So let’s look at the 4 main things these wild horses do and remind ourselves of one of the most basic forms of survival, both physically and spiritually. We can learn a great deal from watching creation. The Creator’s finger prints and Way are in everything He has made, and if we pay attention we will see it.

The first thing the horses do is they pick up on the slight changes in the barometric pressure in the air. This is their first sign that they need to begin to pay attention to what is going on around them and make preparations. It is like energy coursing through the atmosphere, they become alert and excited. This is similar to what we should do when spiritual pressures around us begin changing. The Spirit of God living within us begins to nudge us when the storm He foresees begins to approach. We should always be alert and aware for the nudges and hints we discern from the Spirit of God. When you sense that something is “off” it is time to pay attention and begin to prepare for the storm.

The very next thing the horses do is that they begin to run to higher ground. They instinctively know they need to run up to higher ground because when these storms come in they bring storm surge, waters rushing in from the deep, and if they are not on higher ground when the waters rush in, they will be swimming to survive, most likely not successfully. Higher ground for them may be the hills, but the Word of God does so clearly make this distinction for us spiritually too. Psalms 121 promises us when we turn our eyes up to the hills, when we go to higher ground, there we will find protection.

Psalms 121

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.”

The moment you begin to feel that sense that something is off, it is time to run to higher ground. It’s time to start praying and talking with the Lord so He can reveal to you the hidden things you need to know.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 says,

“Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it, the LORD is His name: Call to Me and I will answer and show you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

The third thing the horses do, once they have gone to higher ground, is they begin to huddle together under sturdy old oaks. Even as they run to higher ground they will join one another and run to higher ground together. Oh Saints!! If there was a place to shout, now would be the time! We are all going through life and life is not always kind. We all go through trials, we all suffer at some point, and suffering has its perfect work in us, but we do not have to suffer alone. Let me just say this one more time, we do not have to suffer alone! God never intended for us to seek shelter from the storm alone. In fact the body of Christ is referred to as ONE body with many parts. No part of the body can tell another part it is not needed. No part of the body can survive and function without being connected to the rest of the body.

1 Corinthians 12:21

“The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, " I don't need you!"

When we are joined together in agreement, praying in agreement, we bring a storm to the storm that the storm could never have imagined. You may be just one little wild horse, but sisters and brothers, you have a promise, an old sturdy oak tree hovering over you, that changes everything. It is not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord, to whom we all draw together and near for protection and strength. Listen to the Word of God.

Matthew 18:19-20

“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

The invisible God becomes a formidable foe among you as you pray together!

Leviticus 26:7-9

“You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will pursue a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will establish My covenant with you.”

Lastly, these wild horse make a statement, they take a stand right in the middle of their storm. They huddle together with their “butts to the wind.” This one makes me laugh because some of the trials we all go through can really wreak havoc on us emotionally. The enemy knows exactly where are softer places are and just how to strike at them. BUT WHEN WE ARE HUDDLED TOGETHER WITH OUR FACES LOOKING UP TOWARD THE HILL OF ALL HILLS, OUR LORD GOD, AND WE TURN OUR BUTTS TO THE STORM, we are telling that storm, that enemy, that threat, NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER! The storm doesn’t get our attention, THE LORD DOES. The storm gets our behind! Why? Look at the words from Isaiah when God was delivering His people!

Isaiah 52:12

“For you will not leave in a hurry, and you will not have to take flight; for the LORD goes before you, and the God of Israel is your rear guard.”

The Lord goes before you (in front of you, in your face. He’s all you can see) and the God of Israel is between you and the wind behind you! The strikes, the attacks, whatever it is that is coming up from behind to slay you, Your Father in Heaven just stepped right in between it and you!

Isaiah 59:19b

“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.”


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