“Whoa!” The cowboy looked over the wasted land that had once been his dream for a better life. Smoke, the dust-covered gray mare, hadn’t wanted to stop. She had it in her mind to seek out greener pastures. At least they could have kept going until they reached the small spring at the foot of the hill country.
“Well ole girl, looks like everyone was right about this piece of land. Nothin’ but dirt and rock.” Jim wiped the sweat off his brow and fought to hold back the resentment he felt toward God. After all, wasn’t He supposed to take care of him. Seems all he got was the tribulation part of the deal. Since getting this piece of land, he had suffered drought and lost all his crop and would have lost his livestock if it hadn’t been for that old spring at the back of the property.
“I’m sorry God. Guess I just have trouble really trustin’ in You. Why, I reckon if you would take an old sinner like me and give me a home in Heaven, You do care about me enough to know what’s best for me here.” Jim pulled the hat brim a little lower to shade against the sun and gently nudged Smoke’s side with his heels. “Let’s ride on over to the spring for a sip of water. We might as well bed down there under the rock overhang while we’re there. There won’t be time to make it back to the shack if we try and start back this evening.”
The bright flash and loud clap of thunder woke Jim up sometime after midnight. He looked over at the mare that stood three-legged with her head down. Jim smiled at how calm the horse took the storm. “Wish I could take life’s storms that calmly.” As bad as the rain was needed, this storm would surely strip all the topsoil from the ground and carry it off somewhere south. “If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Lord, thank You for the rain. I don’t know why You do the things You do, but I know You know what’s best.” Even as he prayed, Jim wondered if he really believed God was doing what was best.
The sun penetrated Jim’s eyelids earlier than he had wanted to get up. He just wanted to sleep and hope that his life was just a dream that he could wake up from and everything would be alright. After last night’s rain, Jim felt like he would have to put everything he owned behind his saddle and move to another place. Picking up the saddle, Jim walked toward Smoke resigned to moving on when a glint off a stone caught the corner of his eye. “Now what in the world could that be?” The storm had washed down the hill and carried the top layer of dirt off the rock beneath and out into plain beyond.
“It can’t be!” Jim picked up the stone and gazed at the streak of gold glittering back at him. Several more stones at his feet showed the same color and his eyes followed their trail up the hill.
Years later, Jim looked out over the pasture at a smoke-colored colt running and kicking his heels over the lush green grass. Holding his two year old son on his shoulders, Jim thought back to what it used to be. Smiling as he walked back into the house, he couldn’t help but look up into the clouds. “Only You could make a pile of dirt worth something!”
Calvary greetings to you Pastor Charles I enjoyed you well-written short article immensely. A great title too and a great ending!! Thanks for reminding us saints of God where we all came from!! God bless from JOHN3-34 Evangelist