Richard whistled a tune as he began the ascent up the mountain.  For a few days Richard breezed through the climb.  It was easier than the last mountain he had climbed.  The fourth day of his climb Richard crawled out of his tent early and enjoyed the sunrise while he ate breakfast.  He packed up his gear and glanced around his campsite before starting his trek.  He noticed the trees were thinning out and looking more weathered from the elements.

Richard struggled up a section of the mountain, relieved when he arrived at the top and the ground leveled out.  He looked forward to an easy walk after the hard trek up the mountain.  He pulled an apple out of his bag and munched away while he wandered along enjoying the scenery at such great heights.  The gravel slipped beneath his shoe and he looked down in time to see a huge cavern just one step away.  He backed away, horrified at the narrow miss and vowing to himself to pay more attention to where he walked in the future.

After backing away from the gorge that made the Grand Canyon look like a baby, he pondered how he would cross it.  He heard the familiar voice of his friend calling him to cross over to the other side.  He walked a short distance both ways along the edge of the canyon, but didn’t see any way across.  He decided to set up camp there for the night and then begin walking along the edge of the canyon until he either found a bridge or a narrower place to cross.

Richard woke up after a sound sleep to the sound of the voice calling him to the other side of the canyon.  After a breakfast of apples and granola he rolled up his tent and shoved it in his pack.   Slinging it over his back he followed the edge of the gorge.  By the end of the day Richard was pleased with the distance he had covered.  He gathered a few sticks for a fire and warmed up dinner.  He set up his tent again, he had done it so many times he felt he could do it blind folded.  He woke up to the sound of the voice calling him to the other side again, but this time the voice was more distant.

He traveled the edge of the canyon for a month before he got up one morning and realized he could no longer hear the voice calling him to cross over to the other side.  He also realized that the canyon had just gotten wider and wider until now he could barely see across to the other side.  He decided to back track and hoped once he got back to where he had started he might find a way across if he just looked a little harder.

Thirty days later he stood back at the narrowest part of the canyon and heard the voice clearly calling him to the other side.  He searched and searched for a way across, but couldn’t find anything to help him reach the other side.  He sat down frustrated at his inability to do what the voice told him.  Then he remembered the times in the past when the man who was calling him to the other side  had helped him cross the impossible.   Maybe if he just took a step out over the canyon, he mused,  possibly a bridge would appear.  Excited by the possibility Richard found a firm place to stand and took a deep breath, holding it in anticipation he stepped one foot gingerly over the edge.  A small stepping stone appeared under his foot.  He was disappointed a bridge hadn’t appeared, but after hesitating a long moment  and picturing himself falling to the bottom of the canyon, he decided to step out with his other foot.  Just before he plunged into the abyss another stone appeared under his foot, this time slightly bigger than the first.  Richard’s heart beat faster at the thought of crossing the deep canyon with nothing to hold him up but floating stepping-stones.  He was grateful that with every step he took the stones became larger.

Richard’s fear gave way to confidence.  In fact, his confidence grew so much that about three-quarters of the way across he broke out into some break dancing moves.  He danced from step to step, even throwing in a few back flips.  He smiled, if only his friends could see him now.  A gust of wind instantly wiped the smile off his face as he struggled to regain his balance, just as he was almost upright a stronger gust of wind sent him falling through the air.  “Help me”, he screamed into the air.  As soon as the words left his mouth he felt a rope railing stop his fall.  He held on tightly, his heart pounding and his whole body trembling.  The rest of the way across he held tightly to the rope.  When his feet finally touched the ground his knees buckled under him and he lay there shaking all over.  He felt strong arms wrap themselves around his shoulders.  Slowly he stopped shaking and looked up into the kind, sympathetic face of his friend.  The one with the voice who called him to do the impossible.  Richard thanked him for providing the rope to catch him when he called.

The man replied, “The rope was always there, you just needed to ask for it.  My love and care for you always surrounds you even when you cannot see it.  I hear your cry from all the ends of the earth.  When you are afraid, take refuge in the shelter of My wings.  Through the dark, through the night, through the dense fog, I’ll lead you as if you are in the light of the day.  When you need to cross the sea I will part it.  I will make a road in the wilderness and create rivers in the desert to give you a drink.  I lead the way and clear your path.  You are precious in My sight and I love you.  You are My child, I hold you in My hand, I protect you.  Stop wasting time pouring over maps and planning your future.  I know the path you are to take, seek Me and you will find it.  Seek Me first and My power will be yours.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

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