In the very beginning, right after I incurred my traumatic brain injury; I wasn’t really thinking about delight. I had no grasp of time. I had no idea how long I had been in the hospital or of how close I had been to dying. I enjoyed Dancing with the Stars and my crossword book – this is something I do have a sliver of memory of – sitting in my wheelchair in the gym with my word search book on my lap at the hospital where I completed rehab. It was wonderful when I was discharged; because soon after we went to the farm and I go to see my horse for the first time in a long time. I didn’t get to ride immediately after; but quickly enough.
When I did go back to riding, it wasn’t quite the same as before. Previously, I had a list of horses I would work with each day. I still had this in a sense; but it was shorter than before because although I still helped with groundwork for a limited number of horses, it was far fewer. I was joyfully content to still be able to ride my own horse though. Since I didn’t ride as much, I handled more chores than before. Just like when I started volunteering there; it does have its benefits – it helps with fitness. Lifting hay and straw bales is an excellent ab workout and mucking is great for your shoulders and back. So is raking the arena by hand; although that does take some time – a couple hours if you are raking a standard dressage arena (20 meters by 60 meters or about 66 feet by 197 feet). Jumpers have larger arenas, but I can’t speak to what that’s like; because I haven’t raked one of those. I have raked a dressage arena by a hand a few times in the past. It only takes maybe 20 minutes or so if you have a tractor and drag. A freshly raked arena is a delight to ride on because it feels great on the horse’s hooves.
I would like to share some Scripture related to delight. First, Psalms 18:1-6 (NASB)…
“I love You, Lord, my strength.”
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my savior,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
And I am saved from my enemies.
The ropes of death encompassed me,
And the torrents of destruction terrified me.
The ropes of Sheol surrounded me;
The snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the Lord,
And cried to my God for help;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.”
Psalms 18:16-24 (NASB) continues…
“He sent from on high, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He saved me from my strong enemy,
And from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
But the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into an open place;
He rescued me, because He delighted in me.
The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands He has repaid me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not acted wickedly against my God.
For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
I was also blameless with Him,
And I kept myself from my wrongdoing.
Therefore the Lord has repaid me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyes.”
I will provide a quote from a book I am using for research: “Once the conversation turns to religion – natural for funerals and such! – the vet often says ‘God will never forgive me for what I had to do,’ though the active duty combatant usually resists using the God word… She or he has been carrying the invisible wounds of war.” This on page one of Care for the Sorrowing Soul by Duane Larson and Jeff Zust. That chapter speaks of moral injury rather than traumatic brain injury. They are very different; but have some similarities. When we turn to the Bible, we find that it is possible to seek forgiveness (no matter what) and have our wounds washed away. Christ’s blood on the cross is a sacrifice that was made for our redemption.
1 John 1:5-10 (NASB) states: “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous, so that He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”
We all fall short of deserving His forgiveness; yet if we believe in Him and accept His sacrifice for us; He is offering redemption. Colossians 1:13-20 (NASB) discusses this redemption.
“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation: for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.”