Echoes From the Campfire

Fear sets a man up sometimes for what he has to face.  A little fear does no harm, just so it doesn’t put a man on the run.”
              –Louis L’Amour (Matagorda)

    “That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”
              –Ecclesiastes 12:13(NLT)
Sometimes I wonder, how about you?  Why did the things that happened in 2018, happen?  Where was God?  Why did this obstacle lie in your path?  I have a print by Fred Deaver on my bedroom wall over my dresser.  The title, “Heap of Trouble.”  It shows a mountain man with a pack mule coming around a trail high in the mountains.  On his right is a deep gorge; on his left is a steep, sheer cliff.  As he glances around the bend there is a grizzly bear coming toward him.  There was no where to go–he was in a heap of trouble.  Ever been there?  Maybe not in the mountains with a grizzly facing you, but in life there are other types of “grizzilies”.  
    Ponder the following Scripture:

         Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!”
                    –Romans 11:33(AMPC)

Life is full of unanswered questions.  Sometimes God heals and takes care of us, other times He allows things to happen (that doesn’t mean He is not taking care of us when something does happen).  “God wills that we know that he keeps us ever equally safe, in woe as in well-being.” (Julian of Norwich)  Many times problems come because of things we did or things that other people did.  Some of those things may have been directed at us, but sometimes they are what is referred to as an accident–it just happened.  There are times when God sends us into a wilderness to teach lessons or for us to become more acquainted with Him.  I smile when people say they want a relationship with Him, but then reject the hardships that may force them to get closer to Him.  They just want to tip-toe through the tulips, but life is often like walking through a forest of cacti; beautiful in their own way, marvelous flowers, but oh, the thorns.
    Some things happen because God trusts us.  Study Job, he had no clue that the Lord set him apart to be troubled by the devil.  And, some things will remain mysteries.  Suffering and death for example, they will remain a mystery until we get to the other side and into eternity.  It is important to study the nature of God (theology) and to develop a relationship with Him, but never get to the place where you think you can understand Him.  Perhaps, that is why man seeks to set himself up in the place of God; why he wants to become autonomous because he cannot understand the ways of the Almighty.
    Get this in your mind and your heart.  No matter what–trust Him.  Remember, God never makes a mistake.  He is always in control.  Grasp hold of a statement made by Oswald Chambers.  “Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.”
    Back to the poor boy on the trail.  I have often looked at that painting and wondered what happened.  Did the bear backtrack or did he rare up and scare the horse causing it to buck and throwing the rider over the cliff?  Perhaps the rider was able to bring his rifle to bear and kill the grizzly or wound it severely so that it fell over the edge? Did the bear scare the pack horse causing it to slip on the trail and slide over the ledge? Life is like that–we go along, heading for our destination, seemingly all is fine and happy when all of a sudden there is “A Heap of Trouble.”
Last year was a good year in my reading schedule.  I always try to read four classics; one a quarter.  Last year I was able to read eight.
         The Deerslayer — James Fenimore Cooper
         Across the Plains — Robert Louis Stevenson
         An Alarm to Unconverted Sinners — Joseph Alleine
         How I Found Livingstone — Henry M. Stanley
         Walden — Henry David Thoreau
         The Trail of the Lonesome Pine — John Fox, Jr.
         A Christmas Carol — Charles Dickens
         Bransford of Rainbow Range, Eugene Manlove Rhodes (I included this as it was written at the turn of the 19th century and is a little different than other western writers).

Hope you take the challenge and read at least one classic.  I am starting with The Last of the Mohicans.