By Karen Moreton
In 1945 while Europe was still in the grip of the Second World War, the famous Lipizzaner ‘dancing’ stallions had been moved from Venice to Austria to escape the bombings. Although the war was nearly over, money and food were in short supply and the future of the stallions became uncertain. Some villagers thought the horses were magnificent while others thought they should be killed and eaten.
As the American troops reached Austria, the colonel in charge of the Spanish dancing stallions asked General Patton to save the horses. Patton promptly requested a demonstration. “If they are as clever as you say,” he said, then perhaps we can make it our business to protect them.” As you can imagine, before the show the Spanish riders were extremely nervous. Would their years of training save these exquisite horses from death?
General Patton took his seat and the music began. The stallions entered the arena, their coats gleaming and muscles rippling. Their proud necks were arched in willing submission and, as they performed the piaffe, passage and pirouette, their timing was perfect. The noble Lipizzaners moved with such grace and poise that within minutes everyone watching was mesmerized by their skill and beauty.
When their magical display was over, Patton rose to his feet and announced, “These horses are truly magnificent! The United States Army will protect them.”
This is more than just a positive story from the Second World War; it’s a valuable lesson for us all. Just like the Lipizzaners, none of us know when we are going to be put to the test. In the face of an emergency, the daily training of the Spanish riders enabled them to be focused, strong and ready.
Do you know what is going to happen to you in the future? We don’t know when an emergency will arise that will require supernatural strength. I had no idea when I woke up on August 25th that our house would catch fire that day and most of our belongings would go up in smoke. I had no idea one October evening that my husband was going to tell me that he had a serious illness. All our plans for the future changed that day. I had no prior warning the day a horse kicked my daughter Emily in the face or the night my friend Karen died in a car crash.
Life throws some scary surprises at us sometimes and we can only get through them with God’s supernatural strength. That strength is available to those who give their lives to Jesus Christ, receive His forgiveness and trust Him daily.