There we were, sitting in my living room, patting ourselves on the back because we’d successfully gotten a donkey to an appointment at a vet clinic.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds and several times during the process I thought to myself, “Well, this is definitely something I never pictured myself doing.”
Boo, the donkey, belongs to my friend, Heidi, but he lives in our pasture, so I volunteered to help her take him to his date with reproductive doom at an equine clinic in Aiken.
“How hard could it be?” I naively thought. I figured we’d just borrow a horse trailer, hook it up to my husband’s truck, get Boo on there, drive to the clinic, drop him off, and return the next afternoon to pick him up again. Easy peasy.
I can now confirm that the reputation donkeys have for being stubborn is well deserved. WELL deserved. Getting Boo on the trailer was not “easy peasy.” Not by a long shot. It’s a good thing my friend understands animals and has patience a mile long because I was sorely tempted to give up and let Boo just keep all the parts he was born with.
We were eventually able to lure that boneheaded burro on board with this stuff called “sweet feed,” which is apparently like horse and donkey “crack.” And after getting over that initial hurdle, the rest of the trip went well, which is why we were taking a few moments that evening to bask in our success.
Just barely into our basking, though, I asked a simple question that quickly dampened our self-congratulatory mood.
“Wouldn’t it be funny if the vet started to do the procedure tomorrow and discovered Boo is really a girl?” I asked.
“Uh, no, that wouldn’t be funny,” Heidi said.
Then we started wondering. We realized neither of us could absolutely testify to Boo’s gender. We’d just trusted the donkey’s previous owner, who had told Heidi that Boo was a he.
At the risk of providing way more info than you want to know, let me explain that Boo’s gender wasn’t easily discernible without a more thorough exam than we wanted to perform. Let’s just say he has an “anatomical quirk.”
That’s why my innocent question began to make us wonder if we’d made a very embarrassing mistake.
“No, wait, I’m sure Boo is a boy,” Heidi said. “But what if he’s not? Can you imagine how those people at the clinic would laugh at us when we came to pick HER up tomorrow?”
As my friend’s angst grew, the spiritual lesson became apparent to me: Doubt is truly tormenting.
Faith is sometimes hard, but doubt is harder.
Most of us find ourselves standing many times at the edge of the chasm between our human understanding and God, and realize that faith is the only way across. What we do next is crucial.
If I choose to believe God and jump across that gap into His arms, I’ve learned that life is much sweeter and easier if I don’t second-guess that decision and allow myself to be wracked with doubt.
How? The Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
The way to end the torment of doubt is to simply believe what God says. Just do it. Faith and trust bring peace and rest (see Isaiah 26:3).
By the way, the vet confirmed that Boo is, in fact, a boy. Relief, vindication, and maybe a tiny foretaste of how Christ-followers will someday feel when all doubt is gone and our faith becomes sight.
“... but my righteous one shall live by faith...” – Hebrews 10:38a
Mary Ann Crum (maryanncrum.com) lives in Abbeville and is the author of two books, “A Giggle Goes a Long Way” and “Live.Learn.Laugh!” She can be reached at email@example.com.