Wilderness Trail Boss

I left you in my last blog with a couple days of full out work ahead of me, which turned into getting sick on my first day off, ending up in bed until now and missing work again!

I missed a whole week of work last month and was so glad to get a double shift last week to help make up for that loss. Guess it was too much as I woke up Wednesday feeling a little queasy. I took my husband to the airport to fly to the Gold Coast, Brisbane for a week of meetings and R & R with his grandsons, went home, and fell in bed. Except for a quick trip to the doctor yesterday, that is where I have been. So far, I have missed two more days of work, which means income since I don’t have sick pay.

Strange as it may seem I’m not stressing over it. I’m finally learning to trust God and really, really trust Him, not just say I am. The hours I’ve been spending in the Word and studying are paying off. Over the years, I’ve studied the Word, read books, gone to seminars and done all the things we all do to attempt to get closer to God. I have desired a closer walk a deeper relationship with the Lord and I’ve been there but never like I am now. It is funny how there is a time in each of our lives when God is able to touch us and get our attention.

I love one line of my favorite song that says, “The wilderness will lead you to your heart where I will speak.” That is what I feel has happened to me. I have been wandering in the wilderness for a long time and finally it has led me to a place in my heart where I know I can go no further on my own and God has been able to speak and He is still speaking.

I can only write for myself but I know I have been in the wilderness for years, wandering around trying all the trails, searching for something that would work. I’ve found many promising trails, followed some way too far only to come to a dead end. I’ve even followed God’s leading, headed out of the valley toward the mountaintop, only to be distracted by what seemed a better way. I have a tendency to think I know the better way and that has proven my undoing more than once.

Over the years, I have been on many trail rides and we always had a trail boss who knew the trail implicitly. He or she would have ridden it many times, known any dangerous spots, where there was water and shade and how long it would take to get back to our starting point. The trail boss knew if the trail was safe for little kids on ponies and people on beginner or green horses. A good trail boss would never take the riders where the trail was dangerous, too long or without adequate rest areas where all the horses could stop and relax. Another job of the trail boss is to keep smarty riders from running their horses through the group and spooking other horses or making them run off. The job is one of great responsibility and an honor to be the trail boss. It says much about your skill as a rider and ability to follow a trail.

The problem comes when you have riders who don’t respect the trail boss, who think they know as much as or more than him about the trail and riding. I am ashamed to say I have been one of those riders. A group of my friends and I were on a  big ride one weekend. Several of us had been on the ride a year before and we were hoping the trail boss would take a turn off and go up an interesting canyon that they didn’t ride on last time. When he kept following the main trail, we decided we would just take the side trail up the canyon. We were at the back of the long line of horses and riders so off we went.

We thought we were pretty smart and that we could circle around and beat the rest of the riders back to the camp. That thought went well at first as the canyon kept curving to the right, toward camp. We were busy admiring the beauty of this new canyon, taking photos and proud of our decision. Then the canyon began to turn toward the left, oops. We rode for hours and realized we’d gone too far to turn back. It was dark when we found a way out of the canyon and looked around to get our bearing. Our only landmark was the freeway to Las Vegas filled with streaming headlights. We knew from that we had to turn right and ride a very long ways to get to camp.

Needless to say, we were very late getting back. The other riders had dinner, enjoyed the time around the fire and were in bed. We were horribly embarrassed and scolded by the trail boss for splitting off from the main group. The only reason they didn’t send out a search party was our reputation as hard-core trail riders. They assumed we would not get lost but many bad things could have happened to us and it was a foolish move and showed no respect for the trail boss who had organized and planned the ride.

I can easily relate that to the way I have wandered in the wilderness for years being the trail boss of my life instead of handing it over to God. He knows the pitfalls, the dangers, the resting places and He is there to lead me through.

The problem with the wilderness is trust. The Israelites spent 40 long years there because they did not trust God. They tried to do things their way, they set up idols to replace God, leaders to take over Moses job. They ignored water from rocks, a cloud by day and a fire by night, food that fell from the sky daily. They came closer to seeing God than we do but still they didn’t trust Him. I can relate, much as I don’t want to, I can. I haven’t been in the wilderness for 40 years but I’ve been there a long time. I’m worn out, beat up and tired of doing things my way. I’m crying, “Abba Father, you are the potter, I am the clay, the work of your hands, do Your work on me and lead me out of this wilderness.”

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