Many years ago my dad and I were hunting in Montana in the Bitterroot area. We left camp early in the morning. When we had left camp that morning I decided to memorize the number of our trail… CC Trail 404 – I still remember to this day! About mid-morning an extremely heavy snow began to fall… So heavy, in fact, it was almost hard to see your hand in front of your face. So we decided to sit out the heavy squall. We found a sheltered area and parked on a log until the storm was over and had passed by. After the storm, to our dismay, everything looked different! No trail markers! In fact, clear demarking of any trail at all was gone. Even with a compass we really didn’t know where we were! We prayed and begin walking the right direction as best we could discern it… After awhile, to our great relief there it was… the trail! And the right one at that! It was a long hike, but we were able to find our way back to camp!
That experience came to mind this morning during “coffee with the Lord” as I read Deuteronomy 4 and some of the warnings God gave His people as they prepared to enter a new land – the “Promised Land”…
“And now, O Israel, listen to the statues and the rules that I am teaching you, and do them, that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you… Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children… The Lord spoke to you… You heard the sound of words, but saw no form; there was only a voice. And He declared to you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, that is, the Ten Commandments, and He wrote them on two tablets of stone… Take care, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which he made with you, and make a cared image, the form of anything that the Lord our God has forbidden… I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over to possess… But if from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul! When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you, you will return to the Lord your God and obey His voice for the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that He swore to them!” (from Dueteronomy 4)
I’m on a journey, just as they were, to a “promised land!” There will be temptations… there will be trials… there will be storms… there may be some times when you or I like feel like we have failed and have lost our way! But it is in times like that we desperately need to recall His word and His promises! It is in times like that we need to seek Him with all our hearts! He will find us… He will lead us… He will help us… He will enable us find our way! He is a merciful God! What’s that trail number again?