Thursday, July 05, 2007

Tenacious Faith

Tenacious Faith, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I just thought this picture was kind of fun. It was taken as I hung from the edge of a 1000 foot cliff at the summit of Seneca Rocks.

Yesterday evening, me and a few of my friends had an awesome little faith venture in the wilderness of West Virginia. It all started with a trip to my family’s cabin in on the Shaver’s Fork of the Cheat River. It was the first time I had been down to the camp since it was purchased. Before we left we were thinking about a 1000 different things we might be able to do down there, including fishing, but when you leave late in the afternoon, your options are limited.

We decided that we would make the camp a quick stop and then proceed to Seneca Rocks. The whole time was cool because there’s something about the departure from the typical day-to-day grind that affords a person with a degree of clarity about the important things in life. God, others, and growing to be a better human being. Our conversation centered around our cultures, our upbringing, and what God had been teaching us. We shared lessons learned, prayed, sang and even spent some time enjoying the view from the top of the rocks. It was a truly beautiful time. Again, getting away from the busy-ness of the usual was a truly refreshing departure. (I’m hoping to do something similar with my dad soon!)

Everything about our day seemed perfectly choreographed—it had been a truly wonderful time. After we came back from the summit, we decided it was time to head back home. We thought it would be fun to go to the Purple Fiddle and grab a bite to eat on the way back. As we started the journey, I felt prompted to pray that God would allow us to have discernment as we approached Thomas as to whether we should go hang out at the fiddle, and that if we did that we would be able to be a testimony to others and find favor among the folks who were there. (there’s always music there on Saturday night, and generally I think it is free). Just as I finished praying, Jeremiah noticed that we were running out of gas. We were somewhere between Harman and Thomas at that point.

I knew there was a gas station at Thomas, and when we arrived there, it was CLOSED!
We had gas to get us 19 miles. It was 15 miles to Red House and 24 miles to Oakland, MD. So we decided to try to make the drive to Maryland, and we began praying that God would stretch our gas (in the middle of the hills of WV), and that he would give us wisdom for the journey. About six miles outside of Thomas, we realized that Jeremiah could use the Nav Computer in his car to find the nearest gas station. It told us that there was a Sheetz 11 miles away in Parsons. That meant we had 3 miles to spare. But then, when we turned around and it calculated the travel distance we actually had 19 miles. Again we sought the Lord that he would make our 13 miles of fuel last the 19 miles of the journey.

We drove and prayed and held onto faith. We remarked that God must not have wanted us at the purple fiddle last night. We also watched as we began to make up mileage—Parsons is downhill from Thomas. So we watched and we prayed and we saw that God stretched our faith and our gasoline and delivered us as we arrived at the sheets with an estimated mile left in the tank.
As soon as we arrived in Parsons, I walked down to the river (and got totally soaked!) and picked up four stones. I kept one, and gave the remaining three to my friends. I explained that these were “ebeneezer” stones, or “stones of remembrance”. They could be just a little something that we could look upon later and say to God “Hither by Thy help I’m come”.
Reflecting on it as we drove back and made the journey home, we all were left to think about how intimately interested in “little things” (like running out of gas on a country road in a middle of a thunderstorm) our God is. The hairs on our head are numbered. And then, we started thinking about all of the times God has brought us through.
What about you? Do you ever take time to reflect upon God’s provision for you—how has He proven Himself faithful to you? You can leave a comment and share, or even better, simply spend time with your Creator in thanksgiving, and tell a friend about his amazing provision!


Anonymous said...

You + Rock
I've said enough. -Willie

young wife&mom said...

you are cool billy. we know that God is a part of everything..all the time, but you have a wonderful way of reminding us.