The beauty of the Lord surrounds me! I look back and It fills my spirit, expanding me in joy. Your creation is marvelous, my Lord. As I continue onward, the strenuousness challenges my muscles, but the Lord my God strengthens them at the same time. The trail is long and as it circles upward, my thoughts of thankfulness to the Lord increase. He has been such a teacher along this journey, and kept me safe.
Aside from a few cuts and bruises, I have made this trek successfully. Am feeling confident that I will reach the top tomorrow. I am stronger. He has made me tough and resilient as the climb becomes more difficult, preparing me for the challenges ahead. What a good loving God we serve. With a cheery smile I progress thinking confident thoughts like, I can do this! I am capable of meeting these challenges.
Suddenly, I see a footprint that makes my bones feel like mush. It’s the paw print of a large cat. I knew mountain lions lived up here, but had hoped to not encounter one. Well, I am protected by God, right? With ears open, I walk and move more cautiously upward for miles; I see the rocks ahead and up, but do not spy a cat. Deciding it is not a danger to me, my full concentration is on progressing.
Isaiah 52:12 [NKJV}
For you shall not go out with haste,
Nor go by flight;
For the Lord will go before you,
And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Walking a rather narrow path with a drop off on one side and cliff on the other, I use special caution. Then a rain of small rocks dislodged from above began pelting my head. I press into the rock and cover my head. It doesn’t last long, but I begin wondering what knocked them down? I refuse to allow fear to paint a picture in my mind, and keep walking. The trail narrows; I stop a moment to bring Jesus, walking ahead of me, into clear focus, then continue on.
Evening is coming and I must decide on a place to spend the night. A prayer to my Holy Spirit will bring an answer for sure. He is always faithful. Eyes searching ahead causes me to slip, but thankfully not too far. I think an angel must have put that boulder there for me to land on. Phew, that was close. Getting tired and distracted. It’s really important now to find the place God has for me. Being in His place is safety. His angels are there to protect me.
Psalm 91:12 NIV
they [angels] will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Carefully crawling my way back up to the ledge, I walk with clearer purpose now. You know, God is so good. I was hoping for another cave, but what I found was an overhang that created a sheltered spot big enough for a sleeping bag and backpack. There’d be no cheery fire tonight; I was very happy to pull out some warmer clothes. Dinner would be sparse but nutritious.
As the sun disappeared and the sky darkened, a glorious host of bright stars blanketed the canopy above. It was like peering into the universe itself; It seemed as though I watched for hours. However, it could not have been too long, for I found myself jerking awake at a strange sound and scent. The mountain lion was near. . . First instinct was to shrink back into the corner of the overhang. Then I remembered I was sent on this trek by God, and it was His job to protect me.
For though the mountains should depart
and the hills be shaken or removed,
yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you,
nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed,
says the Lord, Who has compassion on you.
At this promise I chose to trust God completely. He created that big cat, so surely He could send him away. God did not send me on this journey to perish. I laid back down and began to breathe deeply to relax my body and disperse the adrenaline. Sleep did not return for awhile, but my faith in God increased as I prayed in thanksgiving for His protection. Night time threats, as arrow thoughts from the enemy, invade sleep even at home. I put my trust in my God and was able to rest peacefully through the rest of the night.
Do you need to trust in God, raise His shield to protect your thoughts during night time hours? With what kind of threatening thoughts does the enemy attack you at night?