Come Walk With Us (Part 11)

Complimentary Story
November 2022
   When we reached Clayton, I decided to call Mike, a friend of one of our sons, who lives in Hannibal, Missouri. We were told Mike wanted us to call when we got close because he wanted to meet us. By the time we finished talking he had decided that he was leaving to pick us up and told me he would be there in about two hours. Thank God again! He wanted to help us out by giving us a ride and having us stay at their home over the weekend so we could rest and get some good meals.
   If Hadassah hadn’t been exhausted she would probably have jumped and shouted when I came back from making the phone call and told her in just a few hours she will be resting in an air conditioned house. She was just about at the end of her endurance. The heat had taken its toll and her legs were still very swollen, discolored and painful. 
   We made it to Missouri on day 17 and now it is time for our final commitment to finish what God had given us to do or give up and return to Illinois.
   I was up early because there were was a very important decision that needed to be made today. I needed to be alone for a while now. The Mississippi River was a short distance from the house and I took a walk down there. I found a place to sit and look at what was around me.
   Behind me was a tourist town that was not awake yet. About a half mile upstream was the bridge we had crossed. The bridge had a strangely significant meaning to me. It was the first major, physical obstacle we could not cross without the Lord’s help. As I sat there looking at it, the memory of yesterday was very vivid in my mind.
   Across the river was the quiet Illinois shore. It was where we had come from and I needed to decide if we were going to return there or continue on.
   My biggest concern is for our physical condition. We have both suffered more than I thought we would. Hadassah’s legs are in terrible condition and the whole right side of my body, from my right shin to my right shoulder, has had me suffering for many days.
   Over the past 3 ½ years, God has provided for us, protected us from very present danger, saved Hadassah’s life in a very miraculous way, guided us from one place to another, chastised us when we deliberately did things our own way, taught us to trust Him and look to Him for all our needs, and in many other ways He has shown us the perfect love of our Heavenly Father. 
   Despite how we feel physically, I cannot bring myself to say we should quit. We have told God many times, during prayer, we want to be able to go where He wants, when He wants, to do what He wants the way He wants it done. If I say we continue then I may very well be placing my wife, as well as myself, in a situation that will permanently, or at least for a long term, damage our legs.
   If I say we quit now and go back, then I have not been truthful with God. I am telling Him that, in spite of all the things He has done for us, I do not trust Him to take care of us while we do something He gave us to do. There is no way I could ever feel right about turning back.
   It has only been 16 days since we started our walk, but those few days have been a very special time with the Lord. We have seen His hand in the events of every day. Some of them may seem very insignificant, like someone giving us a can of pop, but when that can of pop is offered by a stranger driving down the road and it is what it takes to revive you enough to finish a day’s walk and get to where you can find shelter for the night, then it is a very important, well timed event, that we know God had His hand in. To us, that can of pop is no less spectacular than someone feeding us and providing shelter when our bodies need rest and nourishment, or a vision of a young man that was about to harass us, or the help we received from a State Policeman (Angel?). The last event that God orchestrated, just yesterday, took us out of heat and humidity so bad that a UPS driver passed out from it, provided us a ride that covered about 50 miles, and put us up in a house where we have been accepted as family. All of our needs have been taken care of and we have NEVER ASKED ANYONE to arrange these things for us. God has used people to provide what we have needed when we needed it! (I Kings 17:8-9).

   As I sit here looking at the bridge that God brought us across just yesterday and think on the many things He has shown us, I know the only decision I can make is to keep going. 
   We had previously agreed that we would each stand by our own decision even if it meant that one goes on and one returns. Hadassah made the same decision for the same reasons as I did in spite of the bad condition of her legs. They are painful and very swollen, but she feels there is no turning back. (Job 13:15a).

   “And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee...”  (I Chronicles 17:8 KJV).


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