way_in_wilderness2We stared down the trail at the sheer rock wall blocking us from following Calf Creek to the trailhead. “We’re lost,” Dillon, my nineteen-years-old grandson declared. “We’ll find a way out,” Steve, his dad, assured him.

I’d jumped at the chance when Steve had asked if I’d like to go with him on a horseback trip in the Powderhorn Wilderness Area, which is located in southwestern Colorado near our cabin. He planned to take the Powderhorn Trail to the top of the 13,000 ft. high plateau and then take the Calf Creek trail back down.

To avoid afternoon thunderstorms on the open tundra we started early and arrived at the top before noon. The view was spectacular—the tundra spread before us in every direction and in the distance, high, mountain ranges encircled the plateau. We paused long enough to watch a large herd of elk run past and then began searching for the Calf Creek trail. We found Calf Creek and an unmarked trail beside it and started down.

After a couple of hours the trail ended at the edge of a thickly wooded area. Already thunderheads were forming on top—it was too late to turn around. That’s when we decided to stay as close as possible to Calf Creek and follow it down the steep mountainside. The journey was grueling. We crossed through the creek several times; circled large rock slides; and dismounted and led the horses through thick forests, with deadfall almost impossible to get around.

I Worried

Dillon’s concern matched mine. It was already five-thirty. We had planned to be at the trailhead by three-thirty. “What if we have to spend the night here? Temperatures would drop after the sunset and the Powderhorn was home to black bears and mountain lions,” I worried. Then, a phrase from a familiar song resonated in my mind, “The Lord knows the way through the wilderness.” “Dillon, God knows the way,” I said and peace filled my soul.

We decided to cut across and pick up the same trail we had taken that morning. The path got worse as we bushwhacked our way through overgrowth and followed animal trails through stands of dense Aspen and Evergreens. Bible promises kept coming to mind, among them, Romans 8:38, 39, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Those words reassured me and I knew no matter what happened now or in the future, it would be alright. Nothing could separate us from His love and care and that was all that mattered.

The sun was sinking behind the mountains when we found the trail. We rode the horses up to their corral just as the last rays of light vanished from the western sky.

Today, as you face life’s challenges, remember nothing can separate you from God’s love.