The Spanish word jaquima means headstall, that is, the leather halter that’s slipped over the head of a horse.
For the Old West cowboy, jaquima became hackamer, then gradually morphed to hackamore. This usually ordinary looking leather halter has reigns instead of a lead rope. There’s no bit to cram in a horse’s mouth. Instead, there’s a braided rawhide noseband called a bozal.
The old vaqueros of California were expert at training horses with a hackamore. Most of them rode well-mannered, sweet-mouthed horses, the envy of spade bit cowboys. You can still stir up heated arguments around a ranch by debating the value of a hackamore versus a traditional metal bit.
But all agree the end goal’s the same: a horse that obeys your commands . . . pronto.
The Bible says, “Be quick to listen” (James 1:19).
God teaches that lesson by whatever means proves effective. He may start out using a light hackamore. Nothing severe or painful. Just gentle instruction, with encouragement.
No doubt it frustrates Him when we ignore these obvious commands. His patience does have limits. If we ignore the tender leadings of the hackamore . . . he'll use a more severe bit. That will get our attention.
He has no use for undisciplined disciples. So when we feel discomfort from His leading, it's time to yield and show that we learned our lesson. Get back to basics. Return to your earlier training. Show that you still have a tenderness to follow His will.
When he sees that, He can return to using the hackamore on us. Then we can demonstrate our love by following His divine nudges and acting on His word . . . pronto.
Have you ever sensed God's loving discipline in your life. . .and it lead to a great purpose?