In the Midst of a HerdWednesday, July 24, 2013
Angels Camp is well known for its annual county fair, better known as "The Jumping Frog Jubilee" which was made famous (or infamous!) by Mark Twain's short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1867). You would think that living in a quaint town that was made famous by frogs and a rich history of gold mining would be interesting enough, but no -- there's more. Angels Camp boasts several working cattle ranches, one of which was only a few miles from our home.
Living in this rural location, much of my time was spent driving our children to and from town. On one occasion in particular, a “not your everyday occurrence” stands out in my mind. As I sped around a corner of the oak tree lined highway, I came face to face with several hundred bovine! I immediately put my foot on the brakes and slowed down. My car was the only one on the road which was now completely blocked by the lumbering beasts. I felt trapped as I inched forward and I wondered how I would get past them to take my children to school on that day. Moments later the cattle were on all sides of us, stirring up dust and encircling the car. I could move forward no further. I felt confused and a bit of panic set in as the cattle crowded around our car. A steer is a rather large animal when it is right next to you – up close and personal! I felt boxed in, surrounded and pressed in on all sides. The road was impassable and I didn’t know what to do. Then suddenly, through the cloud of dust a cowboy appeared in front of me riding upon a horse. Yes, there really are still cowboys in California! (And in case you are wondering…he was dressed the part complete with chaps, a leather vest, Stetson hat and a shiny belt buckle. Can't you just picture it?) I looked up at him through my car window and saw that he was motioning for me to continue driving. The man was calm and unruffled as he came alongside me and slowly directed me through the massive herd of cattle. His reassuring presence settled my nerves and my panic subsided. I kept my attention on my guide as we made our way through the crowded highway. He stayed by me all the way until my car was beyond the steers and the road was clear.
This memory has sometimes come to my mind when I have felt weighed down and boxed in by the chaos of life. At times our jobs, responsibilities or life circumstances can seem so overwhelming that we feel hard pressed and confused as we try to figure out how to maneuver our way through the turmoil. Our focus often shifts from God to our troubles and stress begins to overtake us. Have you ever felt like that? Completely overwhelmed and surrounded by burdens that seemingly block your forward progress? Take heart! God’s word promises that He will never abandon us. He will be our Guide.
Maintaining our focus on God's character and not on our circumstances is essential when navigating through life. We will all face trials and “road blocks” at one time or another but when we focus on His promises our spirits will be comforted. Knowing that God will never abandon us will help us face every obstacle in our path. So, let’s remember when things are hectic and we feel a bit frazzled, to keep our eyes on our Guide. In the midst of a herd of troubles He’ll stay by us and lead us through.
Living for Him,
Into the Word Wednesday
Word Filled Wednesday
P.S. I hope you enjoyed this re-post from 2011. I have been going through "old" posts that have dealt with trusting God through the storms of life in an effort to refocus myself. I know that God is always trustworthy and He is always here. Sometimes, though, I just can feel overwhelmed by circumstances in life. This time I have been going through has been lasting much too long for my liking (is a trial ever to anyone's liking? lol) but I am determined to cling to my Savior and listen for His voice. I know He has a plan and His plan is always good! Blessings to each of you! May you feel God's loving embrace today!