Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: A MIGHTY FORTRESS (don't write about the song) (04/23/15)
TITLE: A Small Still Voice
By Dot Hannah
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The trip up the mountain was unusually long and rugged. I had not remembered all the twists and turns, and dizziness caused me to become nauseous. I found myself wishing I could have somehow been air lifted. There were deep ravines off on one side, and I struggled to stay alert as I steered the car toward the top. I had traveled this road many times but always with a touch of foreboding. What if?
At last I arrived at my destination, an old cabin with peeling paint that I rented at least once a year for rest and relaxation. Often I came with family or friends, but this time I was all alone. My life had been particularly distressing lately, and I felt some alone time would refresh me and enable me to think through some problems I had been experiencing. More than anything, I hungered to be alone with God and longed for Him to graciously renew me spiritually.
The days passed in a multitude of tasks that kept me busy from dawn to dark, long walks in the woods, wading in streams and fishing. However, the anxiety had not gone, and I saw my surroundings as though from a great distance. Time had not stopped my busy mind as I hoped. I was certain that I would hear the small, still voice of God, but up to this point, He had been silent. My last day was drawing to a close when I decided to go for one final, brief walk. It was already late in the afternoon, but I felt certain all would be well. After all, I had walked the trail multiple times.
As I walked an unfailing reaction returned, an intolerable dread of going home and back into the exhausting routine I had become so accustomed too. Oh, if only life could be different. There had to be more. I was so caught up in thought that I ventured further than normal, and before I knew it, darkness was closing in. Panic gripped me, and I quickly turned to make my way back. I had no lantern, and I could have given myself a swift kick for the predicament I found myself in. I hurriedly walked but tripped on a log and fell face down. The night had deepened, and I could not see a thing now. Broken twigs slashed the skin of my face. I moved slowly amid the wild tangle of undergrowth. After some hours passed, I reached extreme physical exhaustion, and my feet could no longer keep up with my mind. Wild thoughts surged through my brain.
With aching bones and a chill of terror, I paused occasionally to pray. I instinctively cried out to God, “Help me.” The clouds dissipated, the skies cleared, and the stars looking down were a scene of peaceful beauty. A wide, full moon appeared and seemed to say, “God will always cover you with the shadow of His Almighty arm.” It was at that moment that I heard the small, still voice of God say, “You’re going to make it. You’re not alone.” A great wave of relief passed through me. Soon afterwards, I emerged from the dark depths, releasing a sudden rush of tears, tears of relief. At the sight of the cabin, I was overjoyed. I was so bone weary that after a steaming cup of tea, I fell into an exhausted sleep.
When morning came, the sky was cloudless, and the sun was shining in all its glory. I lay tranquil in it as though protected by the truce of God. I had always known He was my fortress, and the previous night had reminded me. Yes, I would rise and travel home today, but no longer with a feeling of dread and apprehension. Somehow, my problems no longer seemed to be mountains. I thought, “God and I can get through anything.” I likened Him to the cabin, so warm and protective, a strong tower to run into and be saved from the dark and dangerous world. With Him as my Guide, one day at a time would be farseeing enough to discern guidance. I had arrived as a woman oppressed and struggling to stand upright beneath many burdens. I left, confident that God had a plan, and He would lead me from all darkness into the safety of His arms.
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10)
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