Echoes From the Campfire

Trouble was an odor that passed through any kind of wall and shook men alive.”
              –Ernest Haycox  (Canyon Passage)

    “He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he became deeply troubled and distressed.”
              –Mark 14:33 (NLT)
I don’t know what your year has been like, but this one thing I do know–it’s almost over.  You may have had a year of troubles and woes.  Your year may have been full of celebration.  Either way, remember your Creator as the year comes to a close.  Good or bad, He is still with you whether you realize it or not.
    You have one month to fulfill the resolutions you made some many months ago.  Don’t let the year end without them being fulfilled or at least worked on.  Christmas would be a great time to finish up loose ends.
    I recall some thoughts I read several years ago.  Have you ever thought that the troubles that come your way may be of your own doing?  Whether that’s true or whether they have been caused by someone else, nature, or disease, it is time to sit and ponder what the Lord may be doing through them.  Look at the following Scripture:

         “Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.”
                    –Genesis 1:9 (KJV)

We all know that this speaks of creation.  But look closer–“let the dry land appear.”  That means it was there all the time.  Perhaps the same is true of our lives when troubles come our way.  Perhaps it is the Spirit bringing out latent qualities in us.  They have always been there, just hidden by the junk of life or the storms that have come our way.  I like the way George Matheson puts it:

         “It is not so much the giving of something new as the removal of something old.  It is the taking away of an obstruction–‘let the waters be gathered unto one place.’  It is not the want of sight that prevents me from seeing my possibilities; it is something between me and the sun; it is the shadow of myself….
         Release the imprisoned land that lies within my heart!  Give me the power to see what is actually before me!  How many things I see for the first time when the obstruction is withdrawn!”

    Think of Abraham traveling up that mountain with Isaac, the promised son.  He could not see what was hidden, but he knew that the Lord was faithful.  He knew that the Lord would provide.  At the right time, God removed the obstruction and Abraham saw the ram caught in the thickets.  It had been hidden from him, but now there it was the provision.  
    This Christmas take time to look through the trouble, the problem, the situation and look for the provision that the Lord has for you.
Now to finish Waddie Mitchell’s, “The Sum.”  Have you looked carefully at each stanza?  How does it fit your life?  Perhaps you need to ponder the “Sum” of your life and see how the Lord is trying to let the real person that is within you appear.

               “Does the sum of what you could learn
                   Equal up to what you know?
                Are you ready to take your next step
                   Toward the things that make you whole?
                You will have to do your walking
                   You will have to name your goals.
                YOU’RE the one who has to set your pace
                   You’re the one that builds your soul.”

Remember that the Holy Spirit seeks to be your “helper.”  Do your part to work on the stumps, and He will be there to help you remove them.