Checking fences is a never-ending job when you live on a farm. The last thing a farmer wants is the cows to get out. This was usually my mom’s job. But I’ll never forget one particular time when I tagged along.
Mom and I walked together, following the fence. Before long we came to some timber. Mom plopped her hand on her hip and looked down at me.
“I need to check the fence back in the timber, but I want you to stay out here. Keep walking and follow these trees until you get to the end of the timber. I’ll meet you there.”
Mom shook her head. “The timber is too rough for you to walk through. Just follow these trees and I’ll meet you there soon.”
A lump formed in my throat as I watched my mom disappear into the woods.
Then the vegetation grew thicker. Tall weeds and sticker bushes blocked my view.
“Mom! Where are you?”
I stood motionless, straining to hear Mom’s muffled voice. “I’m here, Sheri. Just keep walking.”
Tears blurred my vision and my heart beat faster. Was I even going the right way? What if I got lost and Mom never found me? A faint voice echoed through the timber.
“You’re alright. Just keep walking.”
From behind me, I heard a rustling sound. I stood still, frozen. I turned around ever-so-slowly, and saw my mom tromping out of the timber. She swiped her hand across her sweaty forehead and smiled.
Of course, later I realized Mom was right. The timber wasn’t the best place for a little girl. It was for my own good. This became even more clear when Mom broke out with a miserable rash the following day. Poison ivy. Itchy, red blisters spread across her face and down her neck. Within days, both of her eyes were nearly swollen shut.
I’ve had times in my life when I felt completely lost in a difficult situation. I couldn’t see God anywhere in my circumstances. But the fact was, He’d been with me all along. Maybe I felt scared and confused, but He never left my side. Looking back, I can imagine Him saying, “I’m here, Sheri. Just keep walking.”
Maybe today you’re walking through a difficult time. Let me encourage you. God is near. He’s even closer than you think. And He wants the best for you. I invite you to call out to Him and He’ll show you the way.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
-Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV