A man was out working on his ranch in the mountains of California one day and instead of taking his four wheeler, he decided to walk the fence line of his property for exercise. As he set out he felt really refreshed and ready for the long walk up one hill and down the other. He walked at a rapid pace and checked each of his fence connections and repaired those that were weak or questionable because he knew that his cattle would find a place to get out if each place in the fence wasn’t secure. As he went along working the fence he began to feel very fatigued and it concerned him because he knew he had two more very big mountains to go over before he made it home. His attitude about the fence also began to change as he started to be more concerned about survival than just finishing his fence repair. He lifted up the water bottle he had been drinking from and drank the last few drops. Even though they refreshed him, he knew it was the last drink he would get until he was back at his ranch. He thought to himself, “I am going to sit down for a few minutes to give my legs and my lungs a rest so I can make it up the last two mountains and make it home.” He began to think about his decision to walk the fence line instead of riding the four wheeler and doubt about his decision began to creep in. Then he began to doubt whether he would make it home or not and thought of a back up plan in case he failed. When the back up plan was devised in his mind his strength seemed to drain even more and doubt began to affect his breathing and his leg motion. He had basically convinced himself that he really wasn’t going to make it and because of his inner thoughts his body began to shut down quickly. Desperately he called out to God and said, “Dear Lord, I cannot make it over these last two mountains without you. To His amazement God answered him and said, “I know you can’t. But I will help you.” God proceeded to tell him what to do and His words were, “Admit you cannot do it without me and stand up and start walking.” The rancher thought this wasn’t much help at all, but he was desperate so he did as God said. He said, “God I can’t do this without you” and stood to his feet and started walking, still checking his fence. God said, “Keep walking and keep checking your fence. You will see your home before you know it.” Just keep walking and I will give you strength.”
As the rancher went up the first of the remaining two hills he noticed there was a big hole in one of the fence sections and even though he was tired he took the time to stop and repair it. After repairing it He felt stronger and proceeded over the first of the two mountains and started down the back side of the mountain. He was surprised how energized he was, even though the God of the universe was giving him strength. He thought, “Maybe if I keep talking to God He will give me more strength as I go.” So He continued to walk one step at a time and talked with God all along the way. As he approached the valley between the two mountains he saw a creek had formed in that valley and the water was flowing over rocks so he stopped and took a drink, knowing that the water was okay to drink. When he stood up from drinking the water his eyes suddenly brightened and a new formed strength came upon him and he continued walking and checking fence and repairing the weak places in the fence. God continued to talk with him all along the way up that final mountain and little by little he began to be renewed and strengthened. It started to get dark, but his enthusiasm kept him seeing clearly ahead and the sun going down actually began to light his way and his conversation with God kept him focused on taking one step after another up the steep incline of the last mountain. Before he knew it He was at the top of the last mountain and he could see his ranch. His energy went through the roof and he actually started to run down the mountain toward his ranch….home. As he was running he was praising God in a one on one conversation that pleased the Lord and his praises lifted from a voice that was stronger than when he started his trek. When he arrived at his barn he noticed a light on in the back stall and went in there to find his wife on her knees praying for his safe return. He didn’t want to interrupt her prayer, so he just stopped and knelt and listened as she prayed. Her prayer continued “Lord, I don’t know why you have impressed on me to pray for my husband but please bring him back safely to me. Please, Lord protect him.” The rancher began to weep and his wife turned and saw him and praised God for his protection and for bringing him back to her. He asked her, “What prompted you to pray for me. You couldn’t have known I was struggling out there.” She said, “God told me to pray for you and I couldn’t help but get involved in your struggles.” From that day on both of them learned that relying on God is something they must learn to do and praying to God is their connection to that power. Paul wrote to Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gives us does not make us timid, but give us power, love and self-discipline.”
The rancher had a task to do and God knew that, but God also knew he would get weak and possibly not even make it home. So God showed up when the rancher cried out for help and God brought him home, plus helped him repair his fences. God showed the rancher’s wife the significance of her prayers and she became a part of the solution not the problem. The couple learned that they needed God in the good and the bad times and that the work at hand was beyond their strength and abilities, so they relied on God “completely” and finished the task at hand with God strengthening them. One thing about fences. You have to decide which side of the fence you are on. We cannot straddle the fence. Being on God’s side is vital for each of us. Keeping the fence in good shape keeps us from trying to get things from the other side of the fence for our nourishment. On our side of the fence we don’t have all flat ground or downhill slopes. We have mountains to climb, and we have to climb those mountains and keep repairing that fence. We will get tired, but our strength comes from the Lord and He travels with us all along the way. When we go through valleys God gives us nourishment so we don’t stay in the valley and God gives us strength to climb out of that valley. God also reminds us that we travel step by step in faith, but always move forward no matter how tired we are or how daunting the task ahead. On this journey we learn to depend totally on God or we fail again and again. God is always trying to get us to follow Him, especially in our failures, and hopefully we begin to rely on Him completely and see the journey continue on. This undeniable truth was shared by Paul to his “son in the faith” Timothy. Paul, a man on mission for God mended and built fences and kept on moving forward doing more and more for Jesus, whom he had just met on the Damascus Road in a brief encounter. When Ananias laid his hands on Paul’s blind eyes the scales fell off Paul’s eyes, and he, for the first time, really was able to SEE! That vision was courtesy of the Spirit of God and Paul began his journey. His reliance on the Holy Spirit was what fueled his life and ministry. We cannot do anything apart from the Spirit of God and our reliance on the Holy Spirit will fuel our lives and set us on the same course as Paul as we are poured out daily as drink offerings for God’s use. Here is the plan: 1. Accept Jesus as Savior and Lord 2. Begin your journey of faith and growth in conjunction with His Holy Word. 3. Spend time talking to God and listening to God and He will strengthen you. 4. Learn from your lessons in life and use those lessons to give you wisdom in the days ahead. 5. Keep your fences mended and stay on course through the mountains and the valleys; God is there through all of them. 6. Be a good finisher with God’s Strength.
Spmetimes I see mountains that make me wonder if I can still climb them or not. I CAN!! How do I know that? I trust in God for my power and he always comes through. Time to get on your journey and start mending fences and walking the walk of the Way. God is waiting to be your guide on this great journey of faith.
The Pilgrimage continues….]