DESPERATION: A SECRET TO TRUSTING THE LORD?
 

By: Norm Rasmussen

Trusting the Lord is easy for some people, but it has never been easy for me. Maybe that's why I keep being put in uncomfortable situations where I have no choice but to trust the Lord. Here's just one of many of those "trying situations" I recall from times past.

My wife and I decided to get away from civilization, to be alone with God for a season, and we decided a little camping trip was just the ticket. We headed off through the woods with a nylon survival tent, two sleeping bags, a few gallons of water, and our Bibles. Food was not necessary. We had been fasting, seeking direction from God for something important in our lives for a number of days, so this was just a continuation of the fast, but in a different setting.

We pitched the tent by dark and turned in early. The following day, which was Saturday, we separated most of the day and sought God in prayer and in the scriptures. Toward evening, I sensed the Holy Spirit was saying it was time to break the fast. My wife concurred.

Chow time! Head to town 15 miles away and gorge ourselves at a restaurant! That was now our destination.

After eating, around 11 P.M. that night, we parked our car and began our hike back to the tent. It was about 3/4 of a mile away - down an old fire trail through the woods - then about 100 yards directly into the woods. Piece of cake.

I led the way. My sweetheart followed. We had only one flashlight. Eventually it was time to leave the fire trail and walk the few hundred feet along a gentle ravine, and there our little orange nylon tent would be . . . just ready for us to crash from exhaustion due to our weakness from fasting so long.

I, the great outdoorsman, continued to lead the way. "Ought to be there any second, honey," I said cheerfully. Seconds turned into minutes. No tent to be found.

"You won't get us lost, will you honey?"

"You won't get us lost, will you honey? I'm sure tired, and the mosquitoes are eating me alive."

"Nothing to worry about, precious. Gotta be right close by."

It's amazing how all the forest looks the same after dark. It didn't take much longer to realize we had walked too far. Moments later we came to a fire trail. Where did this come from, I thought to myself? I didn't know there were TWO trails in the area.

We walked on it a ways and suddenly I saw something I recognized. The old black stump! "Uh, honey, . . . don't know how this happened, but we just walked a complete circle in those woods and came out 35 yards south of where we went in. Let's try it again."

Back into the woods we walked, only I was more careful this time. I had to pay attention. Things looked vastly different than they did during the day.

"You'll get us there this time, right?" she asked.

"Piece of cake. Don't know how we walked past it the first time, but we won't miss it this time."

We walked almost another identical circle without knowing it, and I would have gambled our pet chicken that I was walking in a straight line. Came out on the fire trail within 10 feet of where we came out the first time.

"This is ridiculous!" I exclaimed. I've walked miles after dark in the woods and never got turned around this easy. Twice now I've tried to find that tent a mere 100 yards from here, and not only have I walked right by it somehow but I've ended up bringing us right back to where we started!"

"Let's go back to the car," was her reaction. "I'm dead tired - exhausted. We at least know where the car is."

Tall guys don't sleep well in small cars. That's why they make tents (I think). Besides, it was the principle of the thing. "I'm going back in there one more time. Just let me have one more try, okay?"

"Not me. Sorry. I'm sitting down here and resting. You go right ahead and walk a few more circles if you would like, and if you happen to find the tent, come back and get me. I'll be here in the dark smacking mosquitoes. It'll keep me awake."

I could tell she was a little upset and understandably so. "Somebody probably stole it while we were gone, ever think of that?" she yelled as I entered the woods a third time. When seeking God, anything is possible; I wanted to yell back to her, but decided not to.

Half an hour later I exited the woods and intersected the fire trail one more time. I walked along it until I found my wife.

"It's time to pray, honey"

"It's time to pray, honey," I broke the silence. "Let's pray and trust the Lord to show us where the tent is, okay?"

"Should have thought to do that 2 trips ago," she quickly replied.

"Lord, I'm having trouble. I'm asking that You show us the tent, and I'm going to trust you that You will. Amen" . . . sort of. I kept talking to Him a whole bunch under my breath.

Many long minutes later, there was no tent to be found. Back out to the fire trail. We're talking 2:30 A.M. now.

"Will you please give me the light and the car keys? I'm walking back to the car."

Honey, look - what kind of trusting is that? We can't just ask the Lord for help and tell Him we're going to trust Him and then give up just because He didn't come through the first time around. Trusting means not quitting once you've said you're going to trust Him."

"Okay, only will you promise me that if we don't find it this time around you'll take me back to the car?"

I gave her a politician's answer. "We'll find it, don't worry. He'll show us." Inside, I did wonder if maybe someone had stolen the tent, and the tent was not to be found. Was I stupid to continue with this madness or not?

We began walking. Certain trees and stumps were now looking very familiar. We continued to walk; still no tent. Half an hour later I knew we had to have walked passed it again, if it was even there. Our flashlight was about dead. We both were beat, and now extremely frustrated.

I took my wife's hand and began to pray:

"Lord - in Proverbs 3:5-6 it says: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding: In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Lord - we're trusting you to show us that tent. If someone stole it, or if I'm doing something wrong, would you please let me know? We've acknowledged you to the beat of our ability, and leaning on my own understanding speaks for itself . . . so we're trusting You to make our path straight . . . right to the tent."

I finished that prayer and a second later I felt a quick impulse to flash my flashlight in the opposite direction of where I figured the tent was. To our literal surprise, there was our tent!

Is the Lord good, or is the Lord good?

If you would like to read Norm's born again testimony, click here:  http://precious-testimonies.com/BornAgain/L-N/Norm.htm


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