“Now we have a decision to make.” I shifted in my saddle to look at our trail guide. “We can go back the way we came up, or we can follow this ridge to the other side of that mountain.”
The ride to the top of the highest peak in the range had been great. The view was spectacular, and we were all feeling a bit “high.” Maybe that’s why we opted for the more adventurous route. Our guide led the way onto the narrow ridge. I tried not to tense up as I glanced down. The strip of dirt was just wide enough for the horses to plant their feet. Both sides fell away steeply. I watched the animal in front of me kick and shiver at horse flies that seemed to materialize out of nowhere. I began to think we had made the wrong decision. We were in a precarious place and the potential for disaster was very real.
We were about half way across when our guide turned and said, “By the way, you’re the first woman I’ve taken across this ridge. How ya doin’? I sat straight and answered, “Fine!”
We reached the end of the ridge and breathed easier as the trail wound around the face of the mountain. Eventually a solid trail took us down the mountain, across a river and finally back to the campsite. We were weary but exhilarated. We had accepted a challenge and it had come out well. We would have stories to tell and memories to cherish.
As I looked back at the experience, I remembered that moment when our guide had expressed his confidence in me. I realized he was probably more confident of my horse’s sure-footedness than of my riding ability, but I also realized his words had inspired me. After all, he was one of the best. If he thought I could do it, then I was sure I could. From that moment I relaxed and somehow the danger didn’t seem quite so unnerving.
When we find ourselves in precarious places in life, we can rely on a Guide who has complete confidence in us. He knows He has given us everything we need to get through - access to His Father, (God), a spiritual Counselor,(The Holy Spirit), brothers and sisters to talk to and pray with,(Christian friends), a family to care for us, (our churches) and most of all, His own strength and love. We, therefore, are encouraged.
Psalm 27:3 says - “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”
We can be sure God is going to get us to our destination. Jesus is our guide, the One who expresses his love and confidence in us. He knows we can accomplish our life’s tasks because He will be there leading the way, walking with us. Believe Him. Jesus is the best trail guide we could ever hope to have.
Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor’s wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone. The sequel, A Tumbled Stone was short listed in The Word Awards. Marcia also has three devotional books in print and has contributed to several anthologies, including the Hot Apple Cider books. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan.
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