Monday, May 27, 2013

Not Out of the Woods Yet

Many years ago at a church picnic, at Jester Park just north of Des Moines, I remember getting lost in the woods with some other kids from the church.  Now granted, as I recall it was my older sister and some of her friends who I had followed into the woods, but soon the band of young people got turned around and “lost” for the lack of a better term.

It may not sound all that creepy, but at the time there were some outlaw bikers who had been in the park during the church picnic, so it’s likely there was mild panic amongst some of the adults wondering where we had gone.  Not to mention I was about wetting myself with fear that we would never get back.  And it was getting dark.

Likely at this point in my narrative, my big sister will step in and correct my memory, but if I’m wrong Bonnie, please wait.  Smiling as I write.

My thoughts run this way.  Over and over it seemed that we would come up over some ridge in the woods, hoping to see the shelter house where the church picnic was being held, but nope; just another valley and confusion as to which way to go.  We were Not Out of the Woods Yet!

My guess is we weren’t lost for more than an hour or so, but boy it felt like days.  And add to the fact, darkness was falling faster than we could climb the next hillside.  By that time I was likely crying like a little brother might do, tagging along with his big sister, both of which not knowing if they’d get back before the wolves or the outlaw bikers moved in for the kill.  It was nerve wracking.

Like then and now, there are times when I realize I’m Not Out of the Woods Yet.  I’m not threw the valley yet.  I’m not safely back at the shelter house, but I’m still trekking along with butterflies in my stomach, wondering if I’ll get home safely.

It really doesn’t matter what type of thing we’re facing, we all have moments when we know and feel that we’re Not Out of the Woods Yet.  Be it by our own compulsive meanderings that lead us off the beaten path, or other distractions that catch our eye and we look intently in the wrong direction, only to find ourselves knee deep in poison ivy and outlaw bikers stalking us in the shadows of our minds.  Or it can even be things thrown at us, that have little or nothing to do with our doing, they just come at us.  It’s in those moments that we may find ourselves saying; “I’m Not Out of the Woods Yet”.

Now panic can do amazing things.  It can cause us to run in circles, or it can cause us to become focused and determined to rise above and get out of the fog the fear.  My prayer and desire is the latter.

There are countless scriptures that indicate God’s people were Not Out of the Woods Yet, but the time did come and God did ordain that they eventually, by His grace and their faith in His guiding hand, would break the tree line and emerge into the sunlight of a clearing and the security of His Shelter House.

That moment, my dear friend is coming for me.  And it’s coming for you!  You may be feeling you’re Not Out of the Woods Yet, but you will be eventually.  We all will be, if we keep listening to the sound of His voice leading us on the path less traveled.

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