Echoes From the Campfire

Don’t pray for more years….  Pray for better years.  Don’t pray for good times, or easy times.  Pray for strength.”
              –Brad Dennison  (The Long Trail)

    “For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.”
              –Psalm 48:14 (NKJV)
On this fine morning….  Oh it has to be for this is the day the Lord has made, we are to rejoice in it! He gave us this day to learn, to grow, to live and to worship Him.  Why then moan and groan over the day.  It’s a day given to you.  A person never knows how many are left, so walk with God.
    I remember sitting on the edge of a rim over-looking a canyon or gorge several times in my life.  As I sat there on this one particular evening, the sun was setting, but I could see a storm brewing up on the other side of the gorge.  It became dark early as the storm moved in my direction.  It now covered the gorge and then a beautiful sunset turned into a storm.  The wind came up and whipped dust around.  Then there were spatters of rain, nothing hard, but because of the wind they felt like little pebbles.  I thought of how the storms sometimes rage in our souls.  The storms come along and they weather us (I see that every time I look in a mirror).  Just before it turned dark there was a break on the horizon and a last glimmer of the sun thrust through.  When darkness finally fell I looked and saw the full moon rising.  The storm had passed, the sky was clear, and that moon was shining brightly.
    As I looked and pondered, I felt the God of the storm speak to my spirit, “Look out at that gorge; that is what I do when I break down strongholds, and the mountains that rise up against Me in your mind.”  The Lord will send storms that will rain down upon us and rage; the wind will howl and we feel we are being blown away, but then there comes the end to the storm.  The calmness, and you notice that part of you has been blown and washed away.  Weathered for sure, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is the God of the storm that seeks to weather us.
    Perhaps you were as the Hebrews when they were thrust into the wilderness under the leadership of Moses.  They wanted freedom, yet they wanted the security and food of Egypt as well.  They had trouble facing the wilderness, as perhaps you have, and wanted the storms of life kept away from them.  They were satisfied with the pleasures of Egypt.  They may have been slaves, but when they found themselves in the wilderness, they wished to be back in slavery.  That is what many people prefer rather than facing and finding God in the wilderness.  It is one of those attitude battles of life:  Satisfaction versus Struggle.  
    Walking back in the dark from that sunset and the storm I watched as the moon continued to climb in the sky.  Friend, the wilderness and the storms are necessary for real life.  Snuggling down in my blankets for the night with the final flames of the campfire flickering out, I heard the wail of the coyotes saluting the full moon.  A lonely, mournful, eerie sound of the wilderness.