Echoes From the Campfire

It was in my mind to try to foresee what might happen, and so be prepared for it.  There’s no way I know of that a body can foresee the future, but sometimes he can read it pretty well if he knows the way folks think.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Mustang Man)

    “But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town.”
              –Deuteronomy 20:12(NLT)
              “Down in the valley, the valley so low,
               Hang your head over, hear the wind blow….”

One of the grandest sights is coming into Boulder on US Highway 36.  At the top of the last hill is a marvelous scene as the city of Boulder unfolds before your eyes.  My hometown is down in the valley, nestled against the Front Range; it used to be a small, quaint little town, but now it sprawls across the whole valley.  Valleys can be lush places where a person can go to relax and get away from the toils and troubles of life.  However, many times in literature and in Scripture they relate to a place of trial and testing.
    Valleys tend to represent testing times in our lives.  They are often dry that’s why when we find ourselves in a dry valley in life we need to pray for the Lord to send refreshing.  God will “send springs into the valleys; they flow among the hills.” (Psalm 104:10)  These springs or streams will send season of refreshing and will bring the dry region back to life.  
    Some valleys are small and are easy to traverse.  Some of life’s troubles are that way, and we get through them rather quickly.  Then there are those valleys that are extensive, such as Death Valley.  A low spot on the continent that is very dry and life is hard to maintain there.  Some valleys that we must travel through are like that–long, deep, dry, and will try our very spirits as well as our life.
    There is also that time, in fact there may be several times in life when a person might face death, but there will be at least one time when it will happen.  Scripture refers to it as a “valley.”  “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4).
    I read yesterday a wonderful description of a valley.  David Copperfield faces the immensity of a valley that he is walking through while grieving his wife’s death.  Read the passage and see if you understand that there is “someone unseen” walking with him.
         “I came, one evening before sunset, down into a valley… .  In the course of my descent to it, by the winding track along the mountain-side, from which I saw it shining far below, I think some long-unwanted sense of beauty and tranquility, some softening influence awakened by its peace, moved faintly in my breast.  I remember pausing once, with a kind of sorrow that was not all oppressive, not quite despairing.  I remember almost hoping that some better change was possible within me.
          I came into the valley, as the evening sun was shining on the remote heights of snow, that closed it in, like eternal clouds.  The bases of the mountains forming the gorge in which the little village lay, were richly green; and high above this gentler vegetation, grew forests of dark fir… .  Above these, were range upon range of craggy steeps…and smooth verdure-specks of pasture, all gradually blending with the crowning snow.  Dotted here and there on the mountain’s-side, each tiny dot a home, were lonely wooden cottages, so dwarfed by the towering heights that they appeared too small for toys.  So did even the clustered village in the valley, with its wooden bridge across the stream, where the stream tumbled over broken rocks, and roared away among the trees.  In the quiet air, there was a sound of distant singing–shepherd voices; but, as one bright evening cloud floated midway along the mountain’s-side, I could almost have believed it came from there, and was not earthly music.”
                   –Charles Dickens  (David Copperfield, taken from A Charles Dickens Devotional, by Thomas Nelson)
    On top of the desk, he laid the badge of a Texas Ranger.  “I’m assigning you the mission of finding Elias Butler and saving his soul.  Because of what he was forced to do at Mal de Ojo, he thinks he is doomed to perdition… .”
    “I believe that God has all sorts of jobs for people,” said Forrest.
    “Exactly!” said McNelly forcefully.  “That is why you must find Butler.  He, like you, was made to bring law and order to the wilds of the West.  This is a vast, lawless land, and needs strong people with strong principles.”
(excerpt from REDEMPTION)

You need to get yourself on over to Amazon and purchase your copy of Book 3 in the Life of Elias Butler.