“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”-Isaiah 40:31
For once, he waited upon the weather; yet, it did not come. It unknowingly gave him time to pause and wait upon the Lord.
Technology had afforded him the foresight to know that storms were brewing in the distance, so he planned accordingly rather than going ahead. In his younger days, he would have gone ahead, not knowing, not caring, for if it were God’s will, then it shall be done.
One can never put man’s inventions before the designs of God. Proverbs 19:21 tells us, “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless, the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.”
One hot, steamy Chatham County summer, he had started building a log cabin. It was not from a kit, it was not a prefabricated log assembly; no, it was from scratch. Finding a Coleman canvas eight-man tent at a yard sale, he set up camp and worked each day from sun up to sun down. He could go for days without seeing another soul. As he worked, his mind thought about his life and all that had transpired. The world in which he now lived was more of one with the land than ever before. It was as if he could feel a rhythm in the earth around him, one that God had created but man had ignored in the making of a world of his own. It was on one of those sultry afternoons when the work slowed because of the oppressive heat that the rhythm took on another tone; a dark rumble from beneath the soil rattled his awareness. Before he could gather his thoughts to take shelter, the flashes of lightning began to flash around him. Just over the hill, a black cloud pursued as the winds began to pick up tempo, so did his preparations to take cover. As he ran down the hill through the woods, the crashes of lightning hitting the earth were like mortar shells erupting all around him.
His heartbeat in his ears and nothing more.
Upon reaching the safety of his tent, he opened a flap at the opposite end to allow the pressure in the room to equalize. From his vantage point upon the bed made of cedar saplings lashed together, he watched with fascination and fear as the thunderbolts struck closer and closer, the earth-shaking tremors of resonance into his bones. He grasped the edges of the bed and prepared for the worst. The trees bent nearly double outside his little window. The rain was a sheet of water now, as the tent sides began to push in; yet, standing firm. Closing his eyes, he prayed that if it be God’s will to die, that it be quick; otherwise, he prayed that he be allowed to live to serve Him more.
When he opened his eyes, the trees had shifted to the opposite direction as the sound of a massive locomotive passed overhead. For a moment he could imagine himself lying between the steel rails of the train track as the roar of the steam engine passed overhead. In a matter of minutes, the dark clouds had dispersed, and the storm was gone. A mile down the road, it looked as if a bulldozer had gone through the woods, completely leveling massive trees, including the beautiful old oak in front of Jerry Moses’ home. He had survived and rode out the storm on nothing more than a bed made of cedar saplings and in a canvas tent; it has surely been God’s will.
For if it be God’s will, then it shall be done.
Fast forward, the same man, now standing on the edge of the Germanesca valley, high in the Cottien Alps. Around him, multiple waterfalls cascade down from tremendous heights. He is with a hiking companion, who like himself, had not planned on going this far today. The wind begins picking up the roar of the waterfalls, spiraling them around as they became a voice unto their own. They had not checked the weather reports for the day, but there seemed little to fear. The sky was an azure blue as far as the mind’s eye could see. There were no plans to go as far as they had. What seemed as a short leisurely hike had now become a mission; to reach the summit before their allotted time expired. The hiking companion was his junior by nearly 30 years, yet they were both feeling the effects of the altitude. As he paused, it was as if he waited upon the Lord to strengthen his legs. They had started at nearly 4,000 feet in altitude, and before they reached the summit, they would climb another 5,000 feet. He would need more than just his own power to make this journey. Silently he prayed asking God to give him the energy, and fortitude to make it to the top. Before he could finish, there was a surge of electricity that seemed to flow through his core, down through his legs to his feet. Suddenly, it was as if he could no longer feel the growing weariness in his thighs that moments before had made him question this endeavor. From there, it was if he had mounted on wings of eagles as they passed one group after another making their way up the mountain. They eventually made it to the top where they openly confessed thanks to having lunch with God. It was if Heaven’s door was within reach.
He had waited upon the Lord, and his strength had been renewed.
When he rolled out of bed today, before knowing the storms were coming, his body ached. Even though he had taken Sunday off from his labors, his body was worn from the daily toil in the summer heat. Once more he was building another structure, but unlike the cabin before, this one would be much larger and much more challenging. Add to that being nearly 30 years older, it was as if the odds were stacked against him. Although he was up for the task, his aging frame was having second thoughts. His right wrist had already suffered a strain and needed to be kept in a brace while he worked. Both hands had fingertips worn raw from the concrete blocks he was laying since the gloves he wore had long since been worn out. In essence, he needed more than just one day to recover, but the clock was ticking.
Thankfully, the pause of the morning was just enough to give him a chance to feel God’s grace once again. Once the errands had been run, he resumed his work and pushed through until he could go no further. He could walk and not faint, but he was certainly close.
As he covered all the items to be kept in the dry, he looked back and saw that three of the four masonry foundation walls were complete.
It was not the mountaintop, but he was getting closer each day.
Moments later, the rumble of thunder shook the valley below, and within minutes, the flood of the summer rains came cascading down. Like a sigh of relief, he rested once more as the strains of raindrops pattering against the window panes soothing his weary soul.
One step closer, one day more, we reach for the summit of that far distant shore.
In all we do, let us serve Him so that in all we do, God’s will shall be done.
Thanks be to God.