Walk By Faith

23 08 2013

The Redwoods in California are beautiful. There’s something about a rain forest that soothes my spirit. We’re fortunate to live close enough to drive through them every year.

Hiking in the forest can be tricky, though, if you don’t have a compass. Fog and clouds usually hide the sun.

My husband and I learned this the hard way.

A few years ago we traveled down one of the scenic byways. On a whim, we decided to stop and explore. We looked over the map and chose the 1.4 mile trail for our hike. The journey would be a short one, so we didn’t bother with water or snacks.

We arrived at our goal, only to discover that it wasn’t our destination – but the trail head to the spot we wanted to see – another 2.2 miles away.

Thus far the trail had been an easy walk, so we decided to go for it.

We arrived in a reasonable amount of time, only to discover a fork in the trail that offered no sights for us to see. No map was available to show where each trail led, just their names. Not wanting to retrace our steps, we picked one that seemed like it would circle back to the parking lot, and kept going.

Without the sun to show east and west, we soon became disoriented. Our “easy” walk, we realized, had been all downhill. The only way back to the car was up!

My husband has health issues that necessitate food when he is exerting himself. He began to feel weak and shaky. My arthritic hips (getting old is not for sissies!) began to ache so that I could hardly walk. I had to stop about every 20 steps.

Fear began to set in. We had no idea if the trail we were on was the right one – and soon began to doubt that it was. The path had numerous washed-out places where we had to climb steep sections of rocks and roots. Whereas before we saw the an occasional bicyclist or other hikers, we saw no one.

When you’re in a spot like this what else can be done? I began to call on the Lord and ask for His help.

If one of us collapsed, we would be in serious trouble.

Shortly afterward, I noticed some Oxalis plants by the path. They’re pretty, like a large clover leaf. The underside of the leaves is a pretty shade of purple. I was surprised to see that the leaves seemed to grow upside down – their purple undersides showed, instead of the usual green.

While I puzzled over this, a thought came to mind:

“This is the way; walk ye in it.”

Because of the “ye,” I recognized it as Scripture and peace began to flood my soul.

Every time I began to feel like I couldn’t take another step, another cluster of those upside down leaves appeared, along with the thought:

“This is the way; walk ye in it.”

When a new fork in the trail appeared, there was another bunch of Oxalis, down one of the two paths just a bit. I trusted that I was hearing this from the Lord, and pointed my husband in that direction.

After what seemed like an eternity, the terrain leveled out a bit, and allowed us an opportunity to catch our breath. Panic was no longer a problem, but the pain in my hips continued.

Suddenly a fellow came over the next hill on a bike. What a welcome sight he was! We asked him for directions back to the parking lot, and discovered that we were close. It was beyond the next incline.

We had, indeed, been led back out of the wilderness!

Upon arrival at the trail head, we looked at the map on display and praised God for His goodness. The other trails we considered along the way all led to the freeway-side of the forest. From there we would have had a ten-mile hike back to the car.

You can call the Oxalis thing a figment of my imagination if you like, but you will never convince me that their upside-down-growing leaves were a coincidence.

That was quite an adventure for us. We learned the importance of being prepared with water and something to eat when we explore. A map and a compass wouldn’t hurt, either!

More importantly, we learned that God can be trusted to lead us to safety…

even when we are foolish and get ourselves into difficulties. He was a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).

I am thankful that He communicated with us, and that we were able to hear and understand…

and then chose to walk by faith.

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,

“This is the way, walk in it,”

whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.

Isaiah 30:21

Advertisements

Actions

Information

18 responses

24 08 2013
Emma Tanner

What a great story, thanks for sharing it. Sometimes I think that it is these everyday tales of God being there for us and responding to us in the nitty gritty of our day-to-day existence that are the truly amazing miracles. They may not make the headlines but how truly awesome that the God who made the universe, who brought those breathtaking Redwoods into being, reaches down into our mundane, everyday lives and situations and helps us, and is there for us- just because he loves us.

And yes, I agree about your amazing rainforests- my husband and I were fortunate enough to travel through them several years ago, all the way from the UK 🙂

24 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

We just got back from the beach (we’re on vacation). One of the things I adore is that I always come back with a pocket full of heart-shaped rocks. My little reminders that God is ever present in the tiniest details.

The redwoods are beautiful. I’m so glad you got to experience them. 🙂

\o/

24 08 2013
beverley

When we lose our way and ask God for guidance, we may not be sent a burning bush but we will always be shown the way,

24 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

He is the Ever Faithful One! 🙂

\o/

23 08 2013
Elaine

What a wonderful God we worship!

23 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

There is no one like Him! 🙂

\o/

23 08 2013
Toni Sprandel

Wow, awesome! I am so glad you trusted your heart! Seeing the redwoods is on my bucket list! 🙂

23 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

So glad God helped us out that day. 🙂

I hope you get this bucket list item checked off. They’re magnificent to see. South of Eureka are the biggest ones (keep that in mind in case you get to come!).

23 08 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Great story, Tami! That would be pretty scary. How wonderful of God to lead you out of a dangerous situation. I love the correlating Issaiah verse at the end.

23 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

How thankful I am that He worked and worked with me until I was able to fully trust Him. Without His guidance, this day could have been a tragedy.

\o/

23 08 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Trusting and listening to Him are the most difficult for us to learn. We’re glad you trusted and listened! 🙂

23 08 2013
nopew

What a wonderful story. God is still the best Guide going!
Peace

23 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

He sure is!

\o/

23 08 2013
Peg

You had “G”od’s “P”ositioning “S”ystem! He never fails, does He?

23 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

No He does not!

\o/

23 08 2013
Pure Glory

No matter that you did not have a map or compass, you had God to lead and guide you! You and your husband had what was most important!

23 08 2013
lessonsbyheart

Once again Jesus proved to be all we need!

\o/

23 08 2013
Pure Glory

Hallelujah!

Your turn!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: