Along The Dusty Road

Sunday, October 14, 2012

image credit Joan Davis
In an effort to get back in shape, my husband and I have been hiking several days a week. Besides the benefit to our health, we have found this to be a truly enjoyable experience. While walking the trails of Northern California, we have been praising God for the beautiful creation He has so masterfully crafted. Last Sunday, we went for a great hike in a State Park near our home. It was a clear fall day with perfect temperatures for climbing the hills. About an hour into our trek, we decided (for no particular reason) to head down (or should I say up?) a more narrow, dusty trail. It was rather rocky and pretty steep, but we were up for the challenge. As we rounded a corner we spotted an old tree that had bandanas and ribbons tied to it. We got closer to investigate and found a hand written sign encouraging people to leave mementos on or near the tree to encourage fellow hikers. There were the typical things: buttons, bottle caps, bandanas, soda cans...and even a Santana record cover from way back. But, as I was poking around, I found something that truly stirred my heart. I found a Bible. It was neatly tucked beneath a rock, protected inside a zip-locked plastic bag. Curiosity overtook me and I just HAD to open it. When I did, I found that there was also a journal, a pen, and many notes tucked inside. 

It made me think of another discovery made two thousand years ago by two other unsuspecting travelers along a dusty road. It was a day of great sorrow and confusion. Jesus had been crucified and laid to rest in the tomb, but on this morning, the tomb was empty, leaving those who loved Him to feel lost and alone.

“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him” (Luke 24:13-16). 

The two men didn't expect to encounter Jesus that day. Their faith had been shaken. But, imagine their surprise and joy when Jesus opened their eyes and revealed Himself to them!

“When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him…” (Luke 24:30-31). 

I was filled with emotion to find the Bible, God’s Holy Word, along the trail. And when I read the notes and discovered the things that the note writers shared, I was amazed. There, out in the middle of nowhere, when I least expected it, I encountered Him. I read of people’s struggles being overcome and lives being changed when they turned them over to our Savior. Oh what joy it is when our eyes are opened and we recognize the Lord!

It felt as if this special discovery beneath the rock was just for us, and in that moment, it was. But, I know there will be many future hikers who meet Jesus along the dusty road.

With opened eyes,





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26 comments

  1. Beautifully written, Joan, and so powerful. I'm one with you in believing that there will be other "hikers" who would meet and come to know the Lord Jesus along the dusty road.


    http://rinaperu.com

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  2. And praise God that He loves us and chooses to reveal Himself to us! Thanks for stopping by, Rina! Blessings to you!

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  3. Hi Joan, isn't it amazing how your desire to get fitter and spend time with your hubby translates into so much more? I cannot walk through nature without realizing again how great my God is and when you feel that, He is able to speak more into your life etc. Great post my friend
    God bless
    Tracy

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  4. What an amazing treasure to find; but sad for whoever may have lost it. I can't imagine losing mine that has so many notes, marked scripture, and yes a journal. :) There couldn't be a better time of year for hiking around and enjoying all the glorious colors; I can't get enough! Ha!

    Blessings to you and a joyful week Joan!
    Denise

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  5. That is TOO COOL!! I would have melted into a puddle if I was in your hiking shoes :-) Such a sweet and encouraging reminder that God IS everywhere!! Thanks for blessing my heart today, Joan!

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  6. What a wonderful discovery of the Bible and the notes. Maybe someone who doesn't yet know Jesus as their Savior will find it? Wouldn't that be wonderful? God can do anything, that's for sure.


    It is a wonderful time of the year to hike. Even in Phoenix, it's beginning to be cool enough to do that too. I used to love hiking but have gotten away from it in the past few years. I used to hike up a mountain every single day as it was located right behind my house at the time. You are an encouragement. Maybe this next weekend?


    And congratulations on your weight loss. I read it on Facebook. It's a great way to get exercise, see the beauty of God's creation and to lose weight!


    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

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  7. Oh, I know! I love how God is blessing our efforts to take care of the bodies He has given us by opening our eyes to His lovely creation...and giving us special moments like the one I wrote about above. God is so good!

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  8. Hi Denise! Oh, don't worry...the treasures (including the Bible) were left at that spot on purpose! It was left for others to find, read, leave notes and then leave for others to find. Before we left that spot, we penned our own note and tucked it inside the bag with the Bible and prayed for those who had already left notes. It was such a blessing!


    In Him, Joan

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  9. I must admit, my eyes did get misty! It was such a gift that day to find! I am so thankful to God! He IS everywhere!

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  10. I thought that, too! -- That maybe someone who didn't yet know Christ would discover that Bible and the testimonial notes that are there...I have a feeling that will happen (if it hasn't already!) God's Word never comes back void, does it? =)


    Yes, we've truly been enjoying our hikes. We started with walks around a nearby lake at a fairly slow speed and now have worked up to the hikes like the one I wrote about and you've seen pictures on FB. Two days ago we hiked up Hood Mt (not Mt. Hood!) and my legs are still feeling it today! But, the benefits have been wonderful -- besides feeling better, fitting into my clothes again, we are enjoying God on the trail each time we are outside! He is blessing us with such wonderful times with Him!

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  11. Ah, Joan, the surprises Christ brings for us along our paths do indeed spur amazement and delight,.

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  12. They are the special gifts of our days! Blessings JoAnne! In Him, Joan

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  13. What a wonderful encouragement to leave to fellow travellers on the mountain. No wonder you were overcome with emotion Joan. Such a special peek into someone's else's heart for God and souls.

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  14. I think that each day God has special gifts for us! Sometimes it is a Bible in the wilderness and at other times it is simply a smile from a caring friend. God is so good, isn't He? Thanks for stopping by, Wendy!

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  15. Oh, Joan, what a wonderful discovery, & a great analogy! Thanks so much for the encouraging post & for hosting the linkup, & God bless!
    Laurie



    http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

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  16. Thanks, Laurie! God's Word is always a great find!! Blessings, Joan

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  17. Just beautiful, my friend. I absolutely love your post. Not only was it a blessing to you and the many travellers who walk that particular dusty path, but also for us, as you share your joy. I would have loved finding that treasure too. Just think if we did more of those kinds of things; whose lives it would touch....Thank you Jesus for Your many blessings.

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  18. God is so good! It was such a joy to find that Bible and the notes...I agree -- if we did more of things like that there's no telling how many lives we could reach for Christ. God will take all our efforts and multiply them 10 fold!! Blessings!

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  19. What a beautiful treasure! I can only imagine the story behind the bible and paper, and the person who is missing this treasure. I love the link to God's word, dusty and forgotten. What a beautiful picture this is!

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  20. Thank you, Brenda...and don't worry! The Bible was left there on purpose so others (like my husband and me) could find it. The journal had notes from all the different people who had visited this place. There must have been 100 different messages written inside. It was so encouraging!! Blessings, Joan

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  21. What a beautiful surprise! A treasure, indeed - especially in the messages - to find kindred souls journeying, too - who have already been there!

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  22. God encourages us in so many different ways, and this one was so unexpected! I am praising Him for the many lives He has touched through that Bible and the testimonies written in the journal!

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  23. What a beautiful experience! And you have such a wonderful way of sharing it with others. Thank you for using the gift of writing that God has given to you to encourage, inspire, and challenge from God's word.

    You always open my eyes,
    Lisa

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  24. Thanks so much, Lisa! It was such a special find for us and we pray that others will be just as encouraged (or more so) than we were when we came across this treasure on the dusty trail!


    Blessings to you, Joan

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  25. What a treasure you found. There are so many treasures to be found and some within plain sight. We too often don't recognize them as such and just pass on by. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
    Blessings,Charlotte

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  26. You're right. Sometimes we don't even notice the treasures right under our noses! I pray that my eyes are always open to what God has to show me! Blessings, Joan

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