I made him promise to not go too fast. I made him promise to stay where it was safe. Not too high (I’m terrified of heights..like pass out and die of fear..afraid of heights) no steep hills, no crazy detours…you get the idea. And he said, “I promise I’ll watch out for you.” So we headed off.
Out on our four wheeling trip into the desert.
We rode slowly as I acclimated to riding again. He rode ahead and watched for cars coming over the hills when we were on roads.
He scanned the horizon for cows and bulls (which get their entertainment from charging four wheelers riding through their grazing areas).
He rode side by side with me when he could have sped ahead, matching my slower speed. And I felt comfortable and it was so much fun!
“Piece of cake!” I thought. “What was I nervous about?” I silently questioned myself. It was sunny, the skies were beautiful and the weather was perfect.
We stopped at our destination. The Petroglyphs. No one quite knows how old they are…just that they are old.
No one knows who left them or exactly why. They say there was a battle in the valley below. Was it a burial spot. A ceremonial structure. Who left the drawings..what were they like?
We discussed and pondered. Sharing our ideas on what had happened at that spot so very long ago. Enjoying our stop along the path. Talking, visiting, relishing each other’s company.
“Ready to head back?”, he asked.
We followed the path back down. Then he took a detour. He headed into the dessert, along a wash. A twinge of nervousness pricked at me.
Now we could no longer ride side by side. He had to go ahead to guide us along this narrow path. I sped up not to lose him from my sight. I had NO IDEA where I was. None. Nada. He started to go faster.
The dust began to kick up from the dry desert floor. I pulled my bandana up over my face. Up through the wash and across the desert we trekked. He took us over some hills and around a few sharp curves, the path getting narrower and narrower.
Cactus rose up on each side reaching out to grab our sweatshirts and jeans. I could feel a moment of panic well up, but also exhilaration at the freedom and vastness of the terrain. Not a soul in sight, no sign of civilization but the two of us.
I watched his back as I rode behind him. Broad, strong, capable, confident. “How does he know where he’s going?” the question kept popping up in my head. “I would be so lost. I AM so lost!” I have no clue where we are, where to go…but he kept on. Riding boldly forward through that vastness. “I trust him.” I whispered to myself..more than a few times. “He knows where the path leads, and he loves me and as long as he is with me, I am safe.”
And then…another voice whispered to me..quietly. softly.
“Just like ‘I’ am with YOU.” “Always…” “Through the wide open easy places.” “Through the narrow, rough, dry and scary places.”
“I am always here to guide you, direct you, challenge you, protect you.”
And I relaxed. I looked up to enjoy the wild, untamed beauty on my journey.
Knowing that my husband loved me more than life itself and would NEVER let anything harm me.
Knowing that my Shepherd and Savior loved me more than life itself…and died for me…and would always be there to comfort, protect and guide me through the wide open smooth paths in life and through the narrow, rough, desolate paths in life.
“And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
I am his bride.
I am HIS bride.
And they love me. Amen.