Guiding Light

Diane Virginia

“Lord God,” Earle cried, “help me to find my ewe. She’s been lost in this blizzard since mornin’ an’ she’s pregnant.”

Earle brushed a tear from his eye, leaned forward in the saddle, and gave his horse, Cooper, his full rein.

“Find ‘er!”

Cooper sensed Earle’s urgency and broke into a lope.

He spotted the ewe only because Cooper dodged her, prancing with high steps.

“Come ‘ere, lady!” Earle said, gliding out of the saddle. He brushed snow from the ewe’s woolen curls.

The ewe lifted her head but otherwise remained motionless.

Earle reached into Cooper’s saddlebag and grasped an alfalfa cube and a handful of molasses-strapped oats. “I got yer favorite treat ‘ere.” Earle pressed the alfalfa cube to the ewe’s nose.

She refused it.

“How ‘bout some oats?”

The ewe roused and nibbled on a few grains.

“Let’s go home,” Earle said.

The ewe placed her muzzle in Earle’s hand, and they inched forward.

Soon, she toppled.

Earle fell to his knees, “Father God, what’s my next step?” He fought panic and listened for the still small voice of the Lord within his conscience.

An idea came to him.  Earle loosened Cooper’s girth, removed the saddle-pad, and placed the ewe on this makeshift sleigh. He fashioned an improvised harness from Cooper’s bridle and some rope. He attached this ensemble to the girth and reattached it.

Earle clucked to Cooper. It was then he realized he was lost. He couldn’t see the outcroppings to center him; all he could see of the blurred landscape was snow! He tried to track their direction, but their footprints were erased. He couldn’t even see the horizon.

Earle pulled the ewe into his bosom. “I’ll get ya home somehow, love. You’ll bed down in my own cabin tonight.” He motioned for his horse to go forward.

Cooper hesitated.

“Go on, boy. Find home.”

Cooper zig-zagged across the landscape, confused.

Earle tugged on the sled; Cooper halted.

“Lord, we need Your help! You led Your people in all circumstances and at all times. Lead me.”

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud,

to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light;

to go by day and by night. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day,

or the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Exodus 13:21-22 (KJV)

Earle took his gloves off and slipped them onto the ewe’s hooves. “It ain’t much, lil’ lady, but ye need spoilin’ more than myself.” He felt her abdomen. “Hold off there, love! I’ll get you home.”

Earle searched the landscape. Suddenly, he realized he had an unexpected clue he could use to determine which direction to travel. He could smell the wood burning in his fireplace. “Thank You, Lord!” Earle said. He followed the scent, and step by step led the convoy forward.

At last, Earle spotted embers rising from the chimney. “Thank You, Lord! For You, ‘the true Light,’ (John 1:9 KJV) have guided me home.”

Earle opened the cabin door and led Cooper inside. He stoked the fireplace and laughed at the sight of his horse and ewe residing inside his home. Tears streamed freely, for as he bedded the ewe, still upon the saddle-pad, she gave birth to a perfect lamb.

Earle knew that as Moses relied on the Guiding Light, so must he.

And so must we.

This devotion is a fictional story. Copyright © 2018: All Rights Reserved: Vinewords Stories and Devotions Inspired by the Vine: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name, Diane Virginia: Guiding Light: www.vinewords.net  

Published: January 2019: Christian Broadcasting Network: Senior Internet Ministries Producer Beth Patch: http://www1.cbn.com/devotions/guiding-light

 

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