Echoes From the Campfire

He abhorred the drone of life. The desert taught how useless were the idlers–how nature ruthlessly cut them off.”
–Zane Grey (Wanderer of the Wasteland)

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
–James 1:2-4 (NLT)
Sometimes things happen to us that we cannot figure out or understand. It may be that God has seen fit to place us in a wilderness region for one reason or another. The following is an excerpt from my book, “Trails in the Wilderness”.

“Nature and God would take care of the slackers.” –Zane Grey

If you find yourself in the wasteland of the wilderness for more than one day, and even one day may be enough to do some in, you had better be prepared to survive. Some die in one day because of injuries, hypothermia, sun stroke or a hundred other calamities. The largest part of survival is to be prepared. If people are prepared, they have a decent chance of overcoming the obstacles they might face.
But I might add that one of the main reasons that people find themselves in a wilderness is simply because they were not already prepared; not knowing their way, they end up lost. Being lost in the wilderness is frightful! Fear of what lies ahead or what might be following them, or the fear of the unknown–a major factor in the wilderness. Now, in some ways, fear, the right type of natural fear, makes one alert. But fear can also debilitate and paralyze. They key to dealing with fear is to have courage, which have described as “the control of fear.”
Fear in itself is not so devastating, but that uncontrolled fear often leads to panic. Panic is destructive. Wasted energy, irrational thinking, and a pessimistic outlook are all products of panic. Maybe the greatest product of panic is the loss of hope. With the loss of hope, the will to survive begins to break down.
No matter the type of wilderness a person finds themselves in, the loss of hope is devastating. Even with all the fear, panic, and lack of hope currently prevailing in this world, the Christian should be able to take heart. Therefore, in one sense the whole of life is a wilderness, and the believer is just passing through. We are wandering, looking for a city whose builder and maker is God. Wandering through this wilderness called life, or called earth, many challenges arise, but the lack of hope should not become one of them. While others are aimless in their despair, the believer survives, looking upward to the Hope that is in our Redeemer. When natural fear begins to bring on a panic attack, look to the Author and Finisher of your faith and have hope. Hope is the first great tool of survival.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
–1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)