There’s a wonder to the changing of the seasons here at the Ranch. There are obvious changes seen through the spring season and as we continue into summer. The snow has come to an end; fields become green as the grass grows, providing grazing for the horses and hay to be harvested. There are also some aspects that are not so easily seen. One of the subtler changes is shedding horses. As winter coats give way to slick summer hair, this change is not so subtle to those who are doing the grooming. Many of our horses wear insulated blankets during the winter months, but for those that don’t, God provides an extremely practical insulation against the weather. One test to see how the horses are doing during the winter months is whether or not snow stays on their backs when they are standing outdoors. Snow gathering on the horse’s back shows that there is more than adequate insulation (hair and fat) to keep it from melting and the horse from getting cold. Of course, all that hair sheds in the spring and that means hair everywhere. With this plentiful coat of winter hair,  we tease that some horses better resemble the appearance of a yak. Shedding is not brought on by increased temperatures or the arrival of robins migrating back north. Instead, it is the result of longer days of sun. So while this process is seen by piles of hair everywhere you groom your horse, clinging to everything, including you, it all began back in December when the days start getting longer. The results are only seen now. Increased exposure to the sun brings an external transformation that shows evidence of an internal change. A transformation is taking place.

Our theme for our summer camp season is “Operation Transformation” and is based off of Romans 12:1-2. We as believers are not to be conformed to this world but are to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. I’m so excited to be in this passage of Scripture for camp. For the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul has been explaining all that God has given to believers and he will now challenge believers on what we are to give to God. In this passage alone, he will explain giving our bodies to God as well as our minds. We are not to be conformed to this world, which means having or wearing the appearance of the world. We are instead to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Paul assures us in both II Corinthians and Ephesians that while we aspire to an outward change, the only way that can be accomplished is by the working of the Spirit within us. We are not self-made Christians.

A friend of mine once explained that while we should all commit ourselves to speaking gracious and edifying words, the only hope we have for changed words is a changed heart. Out of the mouth the heart speaks. (Matt. 12:34) The inward change is evidenced by the outward behavior and a truly changed heart is in God’s jurisdiction. As we follow Jesus and grow to love and understand Him more, He transforms us. Increased exposure to the Son brings about internal changes (inner man – 2 Corinthians 4:16) that are seen externally.

Just like the process of the horse shedding began long before the evidence was seen in the spring, Christ’s work of transformation is begun long before it is seen. We praise God for His faithfulness to His children to accomplish that end. We are already “made new” in Him, (2 Cor. 5:17)  but He continues to faithfully work on transforming our hearts. We ask for your prayers that we would be used by God in the lives of those who join us this summer, and that it would be a season of transformation that brings glory to Him.