TITLE: Muir Creek
By Don Beers
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Please notice that although my other articles are "For Sale", this one is to be shared. I've gotten the distinct prompting from the Lord that the timing of this message will soon prove to be words of comfort to one of you.
Because of the kind reviews I've already read; I do have to mention that this was many years ago, though it seems like it was just yesterday, the girls and I spent many years on our own; I raised three of them by myself until the Lord blessed me with the most wonderful wife that He has to give any man, and blessed my three daughters more than words can ever say, she is more than any man deserves and I have to say that our Father is so secure in who He is that He doesn't mind that I give Him the glory, but give her some of my praise.
We parked as far off the road as the snow bank would allow. It’s not that there was a tremendous amount of snow that had fallen as much as it was that the snow plows had a job to do and they did it well.
A canopy of gray clouds intercepted the suns’ light, preventing its warmth from ministering to us while the wind unsheathed icy swords, slicing easily through our garments. The spirit of heaviness, both from the weather and the task before us, was more than heavy; it had overrun us and was winning the day.
I held our son under one arm as I negotiated the snow bank, the last thing I wanted to do was drop him.
That winter afternoon was merciless and bold in its indifference to comfort, so we thought it best to leave our sons’ sisters, Jessica and Sara, in the car. We wouldn’t be gone that long and no one would travel this high mountain road this time of year, so we didn’t fear for them as we normally would have.
We just brought our son with us, the youngest of the three children we were blessed to have shared.
It was his day, only his.
Once over the first obstacle, the mounds of frozen snow that dared us to carry on, we looked ahead to the goal. The mission, that heart wrenching mission of sorrow, though it was only three, maybe four hundred feet away, would exact a price of both of us.
Joshua, our son, was asleep, completely unaware of the cares of our world and he didn’t have a care of himself in the devilish cold. He was completely at peace and resting indescribably well.
Each step was a titanic battle, the knee high snow drained our bodies and the closer we got to Muir Creek, the mission drained our souls.
The creek was as insignificant as we felt, it flowed alone and was hardly noticed, that was until it offered itself to the river.
The river got all the praise and glory of white water enthusiasts, boaters and the skiers that lived down below. The valley got its name from the river but few had ever heard of Muir Creek.
Obscure, inconsequential, cold and small, the creek made its faithful contribution to the accolades only the river received. We could relate, better than we cared to.
Joshua Caleb rested beneath my arm; I envied him.
I knew that the bank of the creek had more than its share of rocks and that walking was more than difficult, it could be dangerous.
No matter what, I could not drop my son nor could I let go of his mothers hand, it was all she could do to make it this far.
The dreadful offering had to be made, there was no other way.
That day was different, maybe God made it that way to suit the occasion, I don’t know.
Ice had framed the edges of the creek and offered a place for us to stand as we fulfilled our mission.
Our son was asleep, peaceful and safe.
Our tears fell freely and Muir Creek offered to make those tears its own and carry them with it to that place where the river got the praise and glory.
“Weeping” does not even come close to the expression of heartache we felt that day. It was a mission full of sorrow, despair and hopeless finality.
Our souls were colder than the wind that harassed our bodies. Our hearts were darker than the clouds that hindered the attempts of the sun to bless us. The tears we offered ran swifter than the river they were to become a part of.
That was the last day, in this life, that we were to see “Joshy”.
My torrential tears flowed as I took his ashes and offered him up to his Creator.
It was holy, yet terrible, ground and knowing that his mother would want a moment or two alone with her son I made my way back to the car and the embrace of Joshua’s sisters.
I’ve learned more from that day than words will ever say. One thing I will give to you is this, perhaps the greatest of them all:
We learn the hardest lessons either by or through the pain; but this one thing I know; our God does not want the pain, its’ the tears He longs for.
Pain in a fallen world is the portion of every man at one time or another.
Tears shed are the offering of a child who has learned to trust.
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