It was colder than a well digger’s lunch pail and the dark storm clouds were menacing. Greg was so excited about taking me out with him on a trip to the Trinity Alps of California in the Fall of that year. We parked alongside a dry river bed with huge purple mountains looming over us. The mist hovering over the mountains gave a feeling of mystical reverence as we made our way across the dry river bed full of huge boulders that had washed down the gully from the previous winter’s snow melt. I was bundled up like one of those kids in the movie, The Christmas Story, and felt about as flexible as the one little kid who got all bundled up and then fell down and couldn’t get up, just laying there with his arms straight out, yelling for help because he had to go to the bathroom.
The trail across the gully to the beginning of the trail head was daunting as I followed my husband across. I tried to act all cool and everything like I knew what I was doing. Every once in a while he would glance back to make sure I was still there; or he would just yell and ask if I was okay but didn’t look back. Not being very graceful, as you have seen from previous posts, I tried to step over boulders or on top of boulders to keep up with him– not without producing a few bruises. My pride wouldn’t let me turn back, especially when he kept telling me how wonderful it was to have a woman who loved the outdoors as much as him. I couldn’t disappoint. Right?
Somewhere half way across the river I encountered a huge rock and my boot slipped. I fell into a hole between two huge boulders …flat on my back. I was wedged in like a sardine in a can. With all of my garb on I could not get up. A cold wind was blowing and as I tried to get Greg’s attention by yelling, my voice carried on down the gully and he did not hear me. So, like the kid in the movie I lay there flailing my arms and legs with as much dignity as I could muster.
For a span of time he did not turn around. While I lay there fear crept in and I was sure he would get so far away he would never find me until Spring, at the first thaw. I pictured myself defrosting with my arms and legs sticking straight up with my face twisted up in total humiliation. Then since I knew this area was full of bears I then shifted my attention to being eaten alive by a bear. I just knew that he would manage at least a leg before Greg would find me. I could hear my own screams at that horror. My mind was going crazy.
Finally, when I didn’t answer, Greg turned around and all he said he could see were four limbs frantically flailing in the air from the distance he had gained on me. He came back and rescued me while trying desperately to muffle his guffaws of mirth at the sight of me. He tried to be compassionate but he still laughs to this day about me stuffed into that hole.
Thinking about this escapade I began to see the spiritual application of the whole journey that day. I will write more about the trek up the mountain in the wilderness at a later blog. This is what came out of the boulder story, however. I saw five ways my growth in faith was similar to this trek across the creek bed.
1. My walk of faith is much like entering into the forest of mist. It looks precarious and dangerous. I can never clearly see just how God will provide the answer to my need, but I must believe He is fervently working on my behalf and an answer will surely come. He has never let me down. Even when the answer may not be what I was thinking it would be. It hardly ever happens overnight either. There is waiting involved and walking in the fog with very little visability. Psalms 91
2. When the winds of adversity is blowing and the cold is overwhelming I must focus on Him and Him alone. David said in the book of Psalms that he wanted to fly away like a dove and escape his problems….but if you read right before that statement he also said he was distracted by the noise of the enemy. When we are believing God we can get so easily distracted by the ‘noise’ of our enemy and lose heart with waiting . Psalms 55