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 2 of 2)
Kim Meeder: And in the aftermath of that night, as I waved at her and her taillights went down the driveway, the Lord allowed me to see His perspective, that my tragedy was needed to stop her tragedy. This is the wild perspective of our God.
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John Fuller: That is Kim Meeder, and she joins us once again on Focus on the Family. Thanks for tuning in. I’m John Fuller, and your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly.
Jim Daly: John, I don’t know where to start today because last time - man, it was just full-throttle on knowing the heart of God for you and what He intends for you and how He wants to walk alongside you and equip you, and power you to really do His bidding, to help people know who He is and to be there for people, to love on people so that they could open their crusty hearts...
Jim: ...That this world has placed around them. And it was powerful. If you missed it, download it. Call us. We’ll get it into your hands. Don’t worry about the how. We’ll get it to you because it is that good. And you really need that affirmation of God’s heart for you. Um, I’m reminded of the verse in Jeremiah 29:13. “You will seek me and find me.” He’s not saying, “You’re gonna seek Me. I’m gonna hide from you.” “When you seek Me, you’re gonna find Me. When you seek Me with your whole heart.” Um, that’s the thing. Not half-hearted. Not - not a little game. But when you seek God, usually out of sorrow, out of being crushed, that is where the Lord finds the willing soul...
Jim: ...Because you’re all in. It is a wholehearted effort at that point. In your pain, you’re saying, “God, are you there?” I’ve heard that testimony so many times. And you might be in that place today. Stick with us. Our guest, Kim Meeder - I think she’ll show you a side of God’s heart, the wild part of God’s heart that is all for you.
John: Yeah, and Kim is well-known to many in our audience. But she and her husband, uh, started Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in the Pacific Northwest. They rescue abused and neglected and hurting horses. And in a beautiful way, they pair them with children who have similar backgrounds. And what results come out of that is just astounding and amazing. And Kim is a perennial, uh, best-seller, if you will, here at Focus. And we encourage you, as Jim said, to get a CD of the past conversation and other resources featuring Kim. The starting point is focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.
Jim: Kim, welcome back to the program. So good to have you here.
Kim: Thank you for having me back.
Jim: It’s like the, uh, studio is lit up.
Jim: But let’s pick up...
Jim: The listeners that are joining for the next day, they are with us. Those that did not listen last time, I’ve got to give just that quick recap. You encountered this woman at a Goodwill. She was having, obviously, a bad day. And maybe every day was a bad day for her. She had been in your face and everybody’s face. Just - “Did you get what you needed?” And all of that. And you beautifully displayed the love of Christ to her, and it brought her to her spiritual knees, to where it ended up in a hug. And again, if you missed this story, go back and hear it because it was a beautiful expression of God’s love for this woman. So often, Kim, we don’t have the patience, we don’t have the time, we don’t have the perspective to hear the spirit of God. You talked about being in that Goodwill and walking up two or three times to check out and sensing the Lord saying, “No, not yet.”
Jim: Because Angel wasn’t there yet. She was in the back room doing something.
Jim: That’s the end that you saw, but how - how do you develop that kind of sensitivity to the spirit of God that when you’re shopping - you’re just there shopping for picture frames, and you got a couple other items because the Lord kept telling you, “No, not yet.” How do you hear the heart of God so clearly that way?
Kim: I am learning to listen. I’ve lived so much of my life on autopilot, thinking I already know how to do all these things and not asking Him into every detail of my life. I’m learning the power of verses like 1 John 2:27. It says that since we have the Holy Spirit, we don’t need anyone to teach us what to do. He will teach us everything we need to know, and what He teaches is true. And so, “Kim, listen, listen, listen.” He is teaching all the time. And I’ve lived so much of my life not listening. And I’m just learning.
Jim: Yeah. When you, uh, complete the story of Angel, this clerk at Goodwill, she engaged you. I mean, you have stayed in touch with her. You’ve invited her out to the ranch to meet the horse Alula - we talked about last time, too.
Kim: Right. Correct.
Jim: Uh, describe that particular instance and where that’s at in the process and then maybe share a story where you’ve seen God use the horse dramatically in some of the children that you work with.
Kim: This is - really, with Angel coming to the ranch is one of those dramatic experiences. This young woman shared with me that, as a child, she saw her mother kill herself right in front of her, and her life was caved in ever since. She never worked through that, and she was living in devastation in front of everyone.
Jim: She was wounded and striking back at everyone, it sounded like.
Kim: Right, right. And I don’t know what to do with these broken pieces of my life, and I’m being crushed, and I don’t know where to turn or where to go. And as I shared the love of Christ with her, this woman came over a counter on her knees and dove into a hug that was waiting for her. She was that desperate for love. And in the aftermath, I shared with her, “Honey, I - I have a horse that I’d like you to meet, and your stories are very similar. This horse could not stop the destruction of the one that she loved the most. Her master, her owner, her best friend died right in front of her, and she’s been grieving ever since. I would like for you to come to my ranch and spend some time with this horse. Can you do that?” And you could see this woman blinking really hard, just trying to comprehend what had just happened. And then she said in this very soft voice - a woman who had just yelled in my face - “Oh, I would love that so much.” And to her credit, she did come, and she did spend time with this little broken horse, reaching out to a little broken woman. And as only Jesus Christ can, He poured out understanding and healing and hope in both of their lives as they had walked through a very similar encounter. And that healing is ongoing.
Kim: The story is still continuing as we speak.
Jim: Yeah. And that’s a beautiful place for people to pray.
Jim: ...For Angel and for her to have a full embrace of the knowledge of Christ. I love that. And I love the fact that it’s not complete. It’s not all buttoned-down. That’s part of life, too.
Jim: You know, God’s plan - there’s a process there for her, for each one of us.
Jim: And that’s part of it. You have a story also about - I think it’s Nathan, is his name. I want to hear that one too because that’s a completed - more of a completed story.
Kim: Oh, my goodness.
Jim: What happened with little Nathan, this boy?
Kim: Nathan - I was invited to come and speak at a - at a university back East. And part of that speaking bundle was to go to a - a ranch and give a demonstration of what they were terming “equine therapy.” And they put me with a child who was so devastated by his life that - that his break went toward violence. This young man - I believe that he was 11 at the time, and he had broken bones in his therapist’s face and torso. He bent toward violence. And they - when I went out to spend some time with him, I heard his therapists say, “Man, good luck. He’s all yours.”
And so I went over, and he was standing next to an arena wall, and - and as I approached him, I said, “Hey. What’s your name?” And he literally growled at me, and he turned around, and he kicked the wall. He could not even verbalize, “Get away from me.” And so, I just, um - I just leaned against the wall next to him. And in a - a few moments, three horses were released into the arena, and two stood together; one stood alone. And so I just kind of slid down the wall to make myself smaller and less adult, and I started to narrate to him, “Wow. Those two horses over there are friends. They’re in a family unit. They love each other. But look at the horse that’s standing alone. She’s really afraid, and she’s alone, and she doesn’t belong anywhere, and her heart’s really sad. I know how that feels.”
And as I’m narrating to him what I’m seeing, I’m also telling him about himself. And I told him - I said, “You know what? Uh, my name’s Kim. What’s your name?” He said, “It’s Nathan.” And I said, “Nathan, see how her head is down? She’s looking right at the ground. She’s really, really sad. And I know how that feels, and I don’t want her to feel like that for another minute. I want to go over and try to make her happy. I want to - her to know that she is loved because I know when I was really sad in my life and when things were really hard, somebody helped me know the love of Christ, and that changed everything.”
Kim: “You wanna go with me?” And - and he wouldn’t look at me, but he just kind of nodded, like, “Yeah. I think I want to do that.” And without telling him, this little broken boy reaches forward, and he just puts his bare hand on her side. And I said, “Just make circles.” And then I said, “Let’s give her a gift she can’t give herself. Horses that love each other - they scratch each other’s backs because they can’t do that. Let’s give her a good gift, so let’s scratch her back.” And as we started to scratch her back, you could see her just turn her head in this, “Oh my gosh, that feels so good” - and she was making a - a very funny face.
Kim: And I said, “Nathan, look at her face. That feels so good - more, more, more. We can’t love her enough.” And - and this mare’s expression went from, “I’m the saddest, most broken horse on earth,” to “What did I do to deserve such love?” And then, I said, “Nathan, quick, follow me.” And I jumped away. And I - and I said, “Quick, we have to hide.” And I just knelt down on the arena floor. And he looked at me like, “Are you just a crazy lady?” But he was starting to smile, like, “I think I’m liking you now.”
And so we just hunkered down on the arena floor. And then all of a sudden, we could hear steps as the mare was coming to us. And then she kind of put her head down between us, and I said, “Check that out. When we came here, she was so sad, she wanted to leave. But now she’s coming to you because you gave her such a good gift of love. And pretty soon, this little dude is now starting to reach for me with both arms as I’m giving him high-fives. And - and we went and got a saddle. And pretty soon, he’s trotting figure eights on this horse, and - and we’re laughing and he’s doing his best Superman impressions on a horse. And - and I’m high-fiving him, and I can hear his therapist behind me saying, “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe it.” And that’s why we don’t see...
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, our calling, our great commission is to release the torrent of His unstoppable love, and stand back and watch our wild God redeem.
Jim: Kim, there’s so many applications on this. My mind is just - whoosh - going through so much here. It is. It’s everything you just said. But let me ask you this with the body of Christ ‘cause I don’t know why, but many people don’t experience the Lord the way you’re describing. We become a people of rules. And are we measuring up? We almost become that wounded boy, as well.
Jim: ‘Cause we’re feeling unworthy of God’s love. We’re not good enough. Um, we are, you know, uh, berating ourselves for not being there. Speak to the believing community about knowing what God means by unconditional love...
Jim: ...To free you up to be that example that you were to that boy, to be in tune with what the Lord is doing in that moment. It - I think what I’m saying is that we’re so wrapped up...
Jim: ...In not believing God loves us ‘cause we’re unlovable.
Jim: ...That we’re as nasty as the world can be at times...
Jim: ...If I could be that bold. We don’t have the love of God in our heart.
Jim: We have only condemnation for those that don’t measure up for us. Does that make sense?
Kim: It does. And how can we read God’s word when Jesus himself says, “My greatest commandment is to love God first and love each other, and then share that love; that’s my greatest commandment”? He said it all through the Gospels, over and over and over. How can we cherry-pick around that? And I think that He calls us to come to Him as a child. And kids, they just get faith. They get unconditional. They just believe. And as He calls us to come to Him as a child, in childlike faith, not childish. We learn childish as we get older, and we move away from that little girl, that little boy that’s just reaching for Jesus all day long into those teenage years of, “Oh, well, don’t you know? I think I know more than you, and I don’t need to do that.” And we - we kind of fall into that pit of pride and self-condemnation and self-justification. And as long as we justify why we are in a painful place, why we are where we are, we will remain where we are until we stand before Him.
Kim: Our job is not to justify our self. That’s Jesus’ job. Our job isn’t to defend our self. That’s Jesus’ job. Our job is to reflect everything that Jesus is by pouring out the volume of His love.
Kim: And that’s what transforms the world and the environment around us, is when we just release His love. It is a weapon of warfare that the enemy has no defense against. There’s no defense against the artillery of God’s love. You and I just get to fire away arrows that go straight into the heart where an individual can’t - they can’t pull ‘em out.
Kim: They can’t unhear love. They can’t unexperience love. That arrow has gone in. And God’s word says in Isaiah 55, “Don’t you know, My word, My love, My hope, all that I am never returns to Me void without doing what I want it to. That’s not your job, Kim. Your job isn’t to figure it out or even to see it. Your job is to fire away...”
Kim: “...All My love, and then stand back and watch what only I can do in the heart of another.”
Jim: In the book that you’ve written here,, you take the metaphor of an avalanche and compare that to God and what He teaches us about perspective. What’s the connection?
Kim: Oh, man, the connection is that I am a woman of the wilderness, and I have seen many avalanches, and from a safe distance, they’re beautiful. But they’re not beautiful when you’re caught in them. And life is like that. All of a sudden, what seems serene and beautiful and peaceful, this giant crack forms, and everything just falls in this tumbling melee of confusion and cataclysm. And - and we just keep falling and tumbling, and we think we’re gonna die. And as this tails out at the bottom of a chasm, our first thought is, “I’m alive. I’m alive.” And often, in that narrow perspective, our first question is, “Why, God? Why? Why have You allowed this to happen in my life? I thought You were love. I thought You loved me. I thought You loved my family. Why, God? Why? I don’t understand.” Senseless pain only happens on this side of heaven. Before our God, every pain has sense. He doesn’t ask us to understand the why. He only asks us to trust Him for it.
I have tried to write this out in an encounter in this new book, where I - this is a long story, but the very short version is, I have a rescue ranch, had rescued some horses. One of these horses had a cataclysmic wreck that I saw her front leg twisted backward. Her leg was broken - a baby. And I had to go and make that call that no one wants to make, to call a vet to come and end a life that was entrusted into my care. And I was just grieving, “Why, God? Why? This is an innocent horse. It’s a - she’s a baby. She’s a baby. This makes no sense, God. It makes no sense.” And as the vet came - this is a long story, but the horse’s leg turned around. I’ve - she started putting weight on it. She started taking steps. We had prayed over this baby before the vet came.
Kim: And as the vet did a thorough examination, her conclusion was, “This horse’s leg must have been dislocated. And as you moved her to a safe location, it was jostled back into place.” I released all my staff. It was late on a Sunday night. And as I was talking to the vet on call, a woman I passively knew and respected very much, that’s when the Holy Spirit highlighted the vet. “Kim, she’s not okay. This is not about the horse. This is about the vet.” And as I pursued her, I asked her, “Honey, are you okay?” And she brushed it off. You know, the vet on call - no sleep and...
Kim: And I pursued her further, and I said, “Honey, are you all right?” And she’s putting all her gear away, and I can see her hands starting to shake. Everything’s put away. She doesn’t know what to do with her hands, and they’re like butterflies that just have nowhere to land. And, “I don’t know what to do, and now you see me, and - and I’m breaking right in front of you.” And she just cracked - and - and these soul-wrenching moans and groans and just sobbing, wracking tears. All I did was turn her around, and we just sat on the tailgate, and she moaned and mourned and wept for about 45 minutes...
Jim: Oh, man.
Kim: ...Until finally she was just able to whisper, “I’ve made such a mess of my life.” And she finally - I could see her parting her lips and finally, she said, “It occurred to me that the only way to make my pain and my suffering stop was to make my life stop. And when you called me, I was - I was holding a gun to my head, and I was trying to pull the trigger. Never in all my life have I needed someone to call me more, and then you did. And then you did. Never have I needed help more than right now.” And in the darkness, sitting on the tailgate of a veterinary truck, hope was introduced to the hopeless. And in the aftermath of that night, as I waved at her and her taillights went down the driveway, the Lord allowed me to see His perspective, that my tragedy was needed to stop her tragedy. This is the wild perspective of our God.
Kim: And if we will trust Him enough to walk through the why, this is where we will see that release of the power of His all-knowing presence and love and redemption pour out into what is our cataclysm.
Kim: “Will you trust Me to not be your light at the end of the tunnel? I’m your light in the tunnel with you.”
Kim: “Beloved, walk with Me. I’ve got this. There’s always been a plan.”
Kim: “Trust Me for it.”
Jim: Think of that, all the way back to when you were 9 years old, and you could not see the whole picture...
Jim: ...Grasping at the dirt in that orchard, calling out to Jesus, who you didn’t really know much about.
Jim: He’s got that whole perspective. He knows you’re gonna be with a vet who is thinking of ending her life...
Jim: ...All those years later.
Jim: And that, to me - that is God. And, uh, you know, the other thing, Kim, that I so love about your - your expression, every time you’re talking about engaging somebody, it’s the Holy Spirit saying, “Pursue.”
Jim: And I love that word. It didn’t go without notice on me. It’s God’s verb for Him and for us as followers.
Jim: Pursue them. And we need to be more encouraged as the body of Christ to be courageous enough to pursue people.
Jim: And typically, it’s people that don’t know Him.
Jim: Be comfortable in that. Do the pursuit.
Jim: Trust God for the wild outcome. And you have brought so many examples these last two days. Man, all I could say is thank you. Thank you for being so faithful to your commitment to Christ, you orphan girl. But God has used that pain, and as an orphan boy...
Kim: That’s right.
Jim: ...I get it. And I love it.
Kim: That’s right.
Jim: And I’m challenged by it, just to say, “Lord, use me.” And I hope you, the listener, are challenged in that same way. Get up every day saying, “Lord, help me to pursue...”
Jim: “...Those around me.” And, uh, your book is a great place to start,.
Jim: I love it. Thanks for being with us.
Kim: Thank you, as always. It’s just a joy to be here at Focus on the Family with two of my dearest brothers.
Jim: Oh, it’s so good.
John: We appreciate that. You are such a joy to have here and it’s easy to see why you’re such a popular guest for our listeners.
Jim: Well I think it’s amazing how God uses Kim’s gifts and love for horses to bring about healing in the hearts of so many broken lives. These kids that need help, not just at Crystal Peak’s Youth Ranch, but in the many people she encounters day to day.
In fact, one of our listeners, Ali, wrote to us after hearing one of Kim’s previous programs. And she said this: “I wanted to thank you for allowing God to use you and your interviews to speak to me. He’s been trying to reach me for long time, but I’ve always maintained a distance. In the past couple of weeks, on my way to work, I have been listening. And each time, it has been something that speaks to me, whether it’s something I’ve struggled with, relates to my relationships with my husband and kids, or something I need to hear. Through that, I’ve been opening up and talking to God. Most mornings, I’m crying by the time I get to work, but after prayer, I feel peace I’ve never had or realized I needed. And with that, I can go home to my family and love them in a better way. So thank you. Thank you for being His voice to me so I could listen.”
John: It is. And we’re so thankful to friends like Ali who reach out to us and share that kind of encouragement.
Jim: Well and that’s why we’re here everybody. We want to help families heal and thrive in Christ. We’re here to bring peace to your troubled heart and ours as well. We’re here to support you in your marriage and parenting journeys. It’s our calling and truly an honor to work alongside you and offer whatever help we can. And if we’ve helped you, consider helping those through us. Give back to the others who need help, especially during this Christmas season. Most of us are anticipating the celebration of our Lord and Savior’s birth, but many people are hurting at this time of year. Families have been torn apart by recent violence and natural disasters. Couples are heading for divorce court. Orphans long for a forever family. People all around us desperately need the hope and help of Christ. And we couldn’t do this work without you. Your prayers and financial support are what allow us to help strengthen families like yours all across the globe. You know there’s so many ways you can help hurting families. By giving stocks and bonds, you can deduct the fair-market value of those, avoid capital gains tax, and support this family ministry. And no amount is too small. So please partner with us today. Give the gift of family. And on behalf of those you will help through Focus on the Family, let me say thank you.
John: And when you donate today, your support goes twice as far thanks to a limited time offer of a matching gift. Your donation will help strengthen families and it’ll be doubled until that match is met. So please, donate today. And we’ll say thank you by sending a copy of Kim’s terrific book,. You can donate and find details at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.
Well have a wonderful weekend, and plan to join us again on Monday as we kick off our Best of 2018 programs. We’ll begin with Scott Klusendorf. He’ll help you learn to share your pro-life views in a persuasive, yet inoffensive manner.
Scott Klusendorf: When somebody says, “Well I don’t accept that that’s a human being early on.” Here’s a great question to get your critic thinking: “How do two parents create offspring that is not human but later becomes so?”
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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.