In a discussion based on her book Encountering Our Wild God, Kim Meeder shares inspiring stories illustrating that we can experience more of God in our daily lives by trusting Him fully, even when we don't fully understand His ways. (Part 1 of 2)
Kim Meeder: And that’s why we don’t see.
Jim Daly: Yes.
Kim: When we choose not to believe that God can crash through the barriers of pain. His love knows no barrier. Our job isn’t to understand how He’s gonna do it. Our job is to release the tide of His love through us.
End of Excerpt
John Fuller: That’s Kim Meeder, and she joins us today on Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.
Jim: John, I am so excited to have Kim back with us. She’s a gifted storyteller and has such passion for leading people to the Lord, which - when you get down to it, that’s what it’s all about. And you’re not gonna want to miss a single minute of the program today, especially if you need a word of encouragement from the Lord. As believers, we know God’s presence is with us, sometimes more so than at other times. But much of the Scripture assures us that He is there, maybe especially in the downtimes. I think of Psalm 139, verse 7, when David writes, “Where shall I go from Your spirit? Or where shall I flee from Your presence?” You can’t hide from God. He knows you. He knows where you’re at every moment of every day of your life. He is all around us. And we want to give you a glimpse of His hand in the midst of everyday situations. And that’s what Kim so brilliantly captures. She’s so in-tune with the spirit of God. I deeply appreciate this sister in that way.
John: Yeah, and every time we have her on the broadcast, we hear from people: “Kim, God has just gifted you, and you know that.” And it’s a privilege to have her back. Just real quick, if you don’t know Kim, she and her husband Troy started Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. Uh, they rescue abused and neglected horses. Uh, they nurture them back to health and, uh, use them in a riding program for kids, many of them abused and neglected. And Kim has incredible stories that have occurred on the ranch and a lot of personal stories, as well. And she’s captured some of those in a new book called.
Jim: Kim, welcome back to Focus.
Kim: Thank you, it’s wonderful to be back with my brothers.
Jim: Man, we’re like, energized - we’ve been talking already. And we got to start now with the - the broadcast because we’ve been at it - going, talking about what the Lord’s doing. It’s so much fun. But anybody who meets you immediately senses the presence of God. You just have that ability. Um, for those that don’t know you, the recap is - man, the Lord put you through some difficult stuff as a little girl. Just, if you could, freshen that story, uh, to remind the listeners - or for the first time, to tell them who you are.
Kim: Absolutely. What I know is true is that everyone comes from somewhere. And everyone has been through something. And God’s word is also true in - everywhere throughout Scripture, but in Psalms 23, we read that He says, “Don’t be afraid. I’m with you through this valley of the shadow of darkness. My rod and My staff, My comfort and My protection. I’m with you.” And that is also true as we walk through very, very dark times. That became real to me at a young age when I was 9. And as I have shared previously, at 9, that’s when my mom - I wanted to grow up and be like her. And my dad - there was nothing my dad couldn’t do. He was a superhero and wore a cape and flew, in my mind. And it was during that season of my life that my dad’s best friend came to my little grade school and put me in the back of his car - and my two older sisters alongside - and started to drive in silence down a very familiar road that led to my grandparents’ house. And he wouldn’t speak. And I knew, during that silent drive, that something horrific had happened and just had that choking feeling around my throat that, “I can’t breathe. Something terrible has happened, and no one will tell me what it is.”
And we arrived to my grandparents’ house, and there were cars all over. And - and you could feel the grief just waving from the house. And for the first time in my young life, I did not want to go into a home where I only ever felt love. I was afraid. I was afraid. And the house was full of all these grieving, wailing people. And - and I was pushed into the arms of a woman that I didn’t - I didn’t know her name. I recognized her. And she was crying so hard. Finally, she just said, “I’m so sorry. I don’t know how to tell you this, but your father has just murdered your mother and taken his own life. I’m so sorry.” And I remember thinking, “Wait a minute. My dad loves my mom. And he loves me. And he would never do that. You’re a liar!”
And I just popped off of her chest and ran out the back door in this child’s effort to just outrun the unthinkable and just ran and ran and ran until there was just nothing left. And - and it wasn’t even a long distance. It felt like days - and just fell down in the dirt. It - it was in an orchard that had just been plowed. And I remember just grabbing handfuls of dirt in this effort to hold on to their memory. If I can just hold on, it won’t be true. And - and then I could hear, like, animal sounds. And - and it was my voice. I didn’t even recognize my own voice. And I could hear myself saying, “Jesus, help me. Jesus, I need you now. Jesus, help me.”
Kim: I didn’t even know who Jesus was. I wasn’t raised in the church. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home. I can only remember going to church twice before that. All I knew about Jesus is, “I think He’s the guy on the cross.” But I didn’t know that God’s word is true in places like Romans Chapter 1, where it says that God has made within the heart of every man the desire to know Him. And it doesn’t matter how you were raised or what culture you’re from or what you were taught to believe. When our heart is being crushed, we know intuitively to turn to the one who made that heart, because we know, somehow, through the power of His spirit, that He’s the only one who can heal it and redeem it. I did not know then the power of verses like Romans 10:13 that says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Everyone. A few verses higher it says that salvation is as near as your lips and your heart, and if you profess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that He’s God, you will be saved.
Kim: I didn’t know any of that. All I knew in that moment of crush was that there was a pop in my heart, an ignition of hope, and that, somehow, I’m gonna get through this. Somehow, I’m gonna make it. And now I know, in a way that I cannot verbalize, I’m not alone anymore.
Kim: And that was the beginning of knowing Jesus Christ in this wild child’s life.
Kim: That was the beginning of everything. I didn’t know then that every ounce of pain you and I will ever feel in this life the Lord has already assigned for His will. And I know that - in a way that only God can, you’re gonna do something amazing because of this. I don’t get it. You never asked me to. You don’t ask me to understand Your ways. You only ask me to trust You for them.
Jim: Yes. It’s so good. And that - that is - uh, I wanted people to hear that background because so many times they won’t understand. “Where’s this passion coming from? What have you lived through?” And that is so critical. Um, and I love that end. You know, one of the things that I enjoy saying when I speak is that, “We don’t own our testimonies.” Jesus bought them with the price of His blood. These are His testimonies...
Jim: ...Working through us.
Jim: He’s just saying, “Are you willing to walk it for me?”
Kim: Yes and amen.
Jim: They belong to Him.
Jim: Right? ‘Cause we’re His creatures created in His image, and I just - I love that kind of perspective. You have written this great, new book,. Now, some people think, “No, God’s not wild. How could you say that? It almost sounds sacrilegious, that God would be wild. No, He’s tamed. He’s refined.” Go there for a minute. Why did you choose a title to describe God as a wild God?
Kim: You and I cannot look at what He has created and not know that He is not wild and unfathomable and untamable and uncontainable. He - His word is true in Isaiah 55, where He says, “Oh, don’t you know My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts? And as high as the heavens are above the earth, so am I higher in My dealings than you. My love, My joy, My peace, My hope cannot fit. It cannot fit into your understanding. Don’t even try. Just trust Me for it. Just trust Me for it.” His redemption - we cannot fit it in the confines of the little, teeny, tiny box that makes sense to us. God is wild. His love crashes through every boundary that we think He can’t get through. His redemption and His hope and His peace roars over the mountain range around us - that we just say, “God, it’s impossible. It is impossible for me to get through this.” And He just roars right over it, and mountains skip out of the way. And they say after, “You are God and our maker.” And we just experience this tsunami of love that pours over us. It doesn’t matter if we understand it. It just is. Nothing that He is can fit with anything that we understand about Him. Our God is wild. He doesn’t ask us to understand. He just asks us to trust Him...
We can just say, “I trust you, Jesus, more than my education, more than my logic, more than my skill set, more than how I feel. Oh, my word, more than our emotions. I trust You more.”
Jim: Yeah, the God side of the equation is so - I mean, you are expressing it. I mean, that vivid imagery that you’re giving us - God’s open arms. The question is on our end, how do we learn to walk in that kind of simplicity? We overcomplicate it.
Jim: I haven’t done the right things. We keep a scorecard. The Lord may not love me because I did this, this and that.
Jim: How do we settle our hearts to look at the simplicity of God in that wild nature of helping us?
Kim: Absolutely. Our enemy is a thief and a liar, and he dwells in that analysis to paralysis. “You not. You’re never. You always. You don’t know enough. You don’t say enough. You don’t know His word enough.”
Kim: Blah, blah, blah.
Jim: All the accusations.
Kim: Correct. When serving God, knowing God, releasing His spirit that lives inside of us is really as simple - pray, listen and do what He asks. It really is that simple. All throughout God’s word, we are commanded: “Pray without ceasing. Pray at all times. Pray on every occasion of the power of the Holy Spirit.” Every opportunity you get, pray, pray, pray. We’re commanded by God Himself when He spoke over Jesus, “This is My beloved Son who I’m well pleased.” Listen to Him.
Kim: In Isaiah 55:3, He says, “Come to me with your ears wide open.” Listen, listen, listen. It’s right around in Isaiah, in the 50s. And do. The whole New Testament is about doing. James - the whole book is about doing. Ephesians 2:10, “You’re My masterpiece created to do” - action - “what I’ve planned for you long ago.” We pray. We listen. We do. And that’s when we see this, the Holy Spirit roar through us into the environments around us. It really is that simple. And as I’m learning how to do this, He is transforming not only my life but all the lives in my environment.
Jim: Yes. I love that. I’m thinking of that Scripture that says, “Do these good deeds so that they’ll honor your Father in heaven.” I think the “they” is the world. And it’s saying - it doesn’t say, “Talk a good game.”
Jim: Do these good deeds because that’s what people give credence to. That’s...
Jim: That means you believe it when you’re doing it.
John: So pray, listen and then do and not, uh - not out of fear but knowing God your Father has you. We’re listening to the heart of Kim Meeder today on Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller. Your host is Jim Daly. And you can learn more about Kim, her ministry, the ranch and this new book,when you call 800-A-FAMILY or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Kim, last time you were here, you shared a wonderful story, uh, about going to Goodwill. But there is actually more to the story involving a horse named, I think, Alula...
Jim: ...If I have that right.
Jim: What happened?
Kim: So part of our ranch is to rescue abused and hurting horses. And a while back, our ranch was contacted by a family that was just distraught. And they said, “We have a horse we can no longer take care of, and she has a horrific wound on her shoulder. And, uh, she was our dad’s horse. And the other day, he didn’t come in for dinner. And we waited and waited. And finally, we went out to go find - my dad didn’t come in. And he had passed away of natural causes in her corral, in one of the places that he valued the most. And this beloved, little mare was standing over him very carefully, guarding him and grieving his loss. The one that loved her the most had passed away right in front of her.” And they said, “Will you just come and take her? We just don’t know what to do.” And so we brought her home that day. And her wound was significant. It had been stapled closed, and all the staples had failed. And it was just yawning open inches of flesh and sinew and connective tissues. And she was grieving. And so we brought her into our ranch and helped her back to health. And her name is Alula. Alula’s a name of a star, and her scar is star-shaped.
Kim: And so God is always painting a masterpiece, as referred to in Ephesians 2:10. And when we don’t like the current picture, all it means - and my wise sister tells me this - all it means is that, Kim, he’s not done yet. And so in practicing pray, listen, do, I was working on a project. “Lord, I need frames. Where would you like me to go?” I’m just asking Him in. I’ve lived so much of my life on autopilot. “I know how to do this. I know how to do that. I know how to run this ranch and go grocery shopping, get fuel, buy coffee. Oh, but God, here is a spiritual part. I better ask you. I better pray.” And the Lord has loved me enough to say, “Honey, don’t you realize every moment that you’re breathing, that’s the spiritual part? I want you to ask Me into all of it.” Psalms 37:23 says that He wants to be invited into every detail of our lives. “So, Lord, where do you want me to go buy picture frames?” Answer was strangely immediate - Goodwill. Awesome.
Kim: I love Goodwill. It’s like a giant yard sale every day. And so, instantly, shopping these affordable aisles with my little blue basket, gather up a bunch of frames, go to the only checkout line that’s available. And as I step to the next position in line, that’s when I heard the young woman who was serving a man say, “Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do this transaction. I’m gonna have to call for help.” So she called for help. Help came, cut right in front of me. She was short. She had fiery-red hair and laser-blue eyes, and she was mad. And she hit my basket and almost knocked everything out as she goes into the next checkout line. And she opens it up, and she sneers, “Did you find everything you need?” I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, yes, I found...”
Kim: “...Actually, more than I need.” And she gets a phone call. And she just - “Grrrrr” - slam! And she says again, “Did you find everything you need?” She hasn’t looked at me yet. And I said, “Actually, I found more than what I needed. I’m going to do this speaking tour.” “Oh, that’s great. What do you speak about?” And so I gave her just a thumbnail. And I said, “I get to speak about hope and a little bit about the ranch.” “Oh, that’s great.” And she’s checking through all these frames. And then this beautiful, young woman rocks back on her heels and starts to shout in my face, “I’m so glad that you talk to people about hope because I’m sick and tired! Nobody takes responsibility for anything anymore, and I’m sick of it! I’m just sick of it!” And I rock back on my heels. And I’m like, “Oh, my Lord, what do you want me to do with that?” And like a bell on a clear day, I can hear the Holy Spirit say, “I want you to point blank her with what I’ve done for you.” And I got to be honest, my first response was, “Abort! Abort!”
Kim: “She’s mad. The guy behind me is mad. Everybody is mad. She’s not gonna hear it, Lord. It’s a bad time. It’s a bad time. Really. Okay. I’m going in, God.”
Kim: And so I read her little name tag, and it said Angel.
Jim: God has a sense of humor.
Kim: He does.
Kim: And so I said, “Angel, honey, you’re right. I’m so glad that I get to talk to people about hope because hope is so vitally important to our heart and for our life that, without it, everything is meaningless. Hope is so important. I remember not only the day but the moment that genuine hope came into my heart, and that was the day that my dad murdered my mother and took his own life. And that was the day that I met the author of hope. That was the day I met Jesus Christ, and He’s been in my heart ever since.” And she just went, “Huuuuuuhhhh.” She didn’t move. She didn’t breathe. She stood there with her shoulders up to her ears, staring at the floor for what felt like a day. She looked like I had shot her with an arrow.
And after a long moment, she starts to exhale and her shoulders start to settle down, and as she’s raising her eyes to meet mine, they’re flooding with tears. And she goes to open her mouth, and these two huge, heavy streaks go down her face. And this is a young woman who just screamed in my face. Now she is speaking in a voice that I can barely hear. It’s the voice of a little, little girl. And she says in this tiny whisper, “I’ve never shared this with anybody. When I was 12, my mom killed herself right in front of me.” And all I did was just open my arms in that universal gesture that, “Oh, baby, this hug is for you.” It was like throwing a life ring. She wanted that so desperately, she didn’t even go around the counter. She launched up onto the checkout counter, put her knees on the counter, and just buried into a total stranger’s neck and just wept and wept and wept. And right there in the checkout line of a Goodwill store in a little town, one former orphan got to introduce another orphan to the love of Jesus Christ.
If you want to know the simplicity of the wild love and redemption of our God, it really is as simple as we pray and we listen and we do and we just follow His spirit where His spirit wants to go. Jesus said Himself in John 4:23 and 24 that God is spirit. He’s looking for anybody, anybody who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. “Will that be you? Kim, will it be you? Will you worship Him by following the voice of His spirit while standing on the truth of His word?” Because they always go together.
Jim: Kim, I mean, it’s hard to breathe because you are bringing such great truth to the listener. And we have flown through the first half-hour. I mean, this is amazing. The place to end it - because I can envision that person weeping with you right now, another version of that clerk...
Kim: Right, right.
Jim: ...Who’s never felt the love of God, has not seen the enthusiasm of a believer like you’ve got. And I think the place to end is for you to pray for those people who are saying, “Lord, I want that. I don’t know you. I’m in the apple orchard, grabbing at the dirt like Kim was as a little girl.”
Jim: Pray for them, and let’s come back next time, and we’ll get into more of that - the whys and the hows.
Kim: Mmhmm. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I speak the power and the authority and the pure love of your name over every single person who is listening today, who has collapsed in that place of brokenness and despair and grief and pain and suffering, that believes You do not see. Right now, Holy Spirit, will You breathe over them? In their car, in their office, in their kitchen, out in a field, wherever they might be that they would feel the fire of the presence of the living God descending on them. “Don’t you know I love you? You’re My son. You’re My daughter. And if you were the only one, I’m coming for you, and I’m here right now reaching for you, My beloved. Will you reach back and take Me by the hand? I’ve got you. I’ve got you. And you are gonna make it. Will you call on My name and invite Me into your heart and your life to lead you through this time? I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a purpose, and it’s good because I am good. Can you feel My arms around you now? I love you so much. Let’s walk out these days together. And I will show you, side by side, My goodness and My wild love for you, My beloved.” Thank you, Jesus. Thank you that Your redemptive love knows no boundaries of men. And when we ask You to come in, You do. And You heal every broken corner and closet and drawer and crack. Your light is unstoppable. And it lights the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. Thank you, Jesus. Come in. Now we pray, all for Your glory. Have Your way. Amen.
Jim: Amen. Kim Meeder, man, this is the gospel. And I want to pick up next time, if you’re willing to stay with us, and talk about the introduction that you made between this Angel at Goodwill and Alula. Let’s pick it up there. Can we do it?
Kim: Yes, sir.
John: Kim’s story is so gripping and so captivating. And that’s why she continues to be such a popular guest here on Focus on the Family.
Jim: Well God really has gifted her, not only reaching out to broken people, but in sharing her stories in such a way that demonstrates His grace and mercy. And as you’ve been listening today, I know you’ve been touched by those stories of redemption. And that’s really at the heart of what we do here at Focus on the Family. Everything points back to the Lord and His redeeming nature. Now we wanna encourage you in your faith walk. We hear from people all the time who have benefitted from the ministry happening here at Focus.
In fact, one woman wrote to us to say this: “As a stay-at-home mom for many years, I loved listening to Focus on the Family. I am a better Christian, wife, mother, and daughter because of your programs. I often share with my daughters and husband what I learn from each day’s conversation. My daughters are now almost 22 and 19, and they know what a blessing Focus on the Family has been in our lives. Thank you for all you do. You are blessing many people’s lives.”
And that is awesome, John.
John: It really is wonderful. It’s so encouraging to hear feedback like that.
Jim: It is. And we couldn’t do this kind of ministry without you. We need your prayers, of course, and your financial support that fuels what we can do together to help families in crisis. Your Year-End gift of support to Focus on the Family - the gift of family, as we call it - will provide hope-filled biblically-based teaching through Focus on the Family’s daily broadcast, ministry programs, our counseling efforts, and so much more. When you donate today, a gift of any amount, we’ll send you a copy of Kim Meeder’s book,, as our way of saying thank you for supporting the ministry. And now, through a limited time, your support will go twice as far. So partner with us today. Give $50, it becomes a hundred. A hundred - 200. And that gift will help strengthen families throughout the year. So let me say thank you for supporting the ministry and being a partner.
John: And you can donate and get a copy ofonline at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast, or when you call 800-232-6459 - 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.
On behalf of Jim Daly, I’m John Fuller, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. Join us again next time. We’ll have more from Kim Meeder and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.
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Kim MeederView Bio
Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is also a motivational speaker and the author of several books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch. She is a recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award and the Red Cross Local Heroes Award, two prestigious honors given for public and community service. Kim is also a gifted athlete who has set two world records in power lifting and participated in the U.S. Olympics biathalon trials. Learn more about Kim at her website, crystalpeaksyouthranch.org/kim-meeder.