Tim looked up at Lynn in her saddle as he arranged the pack strings around her reins. The morning sunlight cast shadows across his face and beams of bursting light surrounded her with a heavenly glow.
“The Lord spoke to my heart first thing this morning,” he said, handing her the reins. “He said to continue to go until He made it really obvious where we are supposed to stop. If it isn’t obvious, we keep going.” He gave one last tug to tighten her saddlebag.
“Sounds good,” she replied, unquestioningly. A minute later they were off on the open road again.
It was a beautiful, sunny day. Not a cloud in the sky. The jitters in Tim’s stomach gradually intensified as the day wore on and by lunchtime he could almost smell the shoreline only miles away. Starting early in the afternoon, folks began pulling off the main road to inquire about their journey and every stop seemed to contain an offer to pick them up later that evening.
Tim found himself overanalyzing every single offer. Is this the one? It seems pretty obvious. I mean, how much more obvious can you get than someone offering to meet every single need you have? Yet the confirmation was never there.
“How are you going to feed the horses?” a man asked, coasting alongside of them in his truck. “You got any food with you?”
“Nope,” Tim answered cheerily.
“Want me to bring any?”
“Nope, we’ll be alright. God’s got this.” The cowboy couple flashed their brightest smiles back at the perplexed faces as they each drove off.
Late in the afternoon the road changed and they started seeing more bridges and happening upon sea food places. The salty air carried visions of the ever-nearing shoreline and butterflies danced in pit of their stomachs.
“Hey! We saw you guys on the news!” one woman yelled excitedly out her van’s driver window. “If you guys keep going, there won’t be very many more places to stop for the night. Let us come back and get you when you’re finished riding tonight.”
“We appreciate the offer but we’ll be okay,” came Lynn’s confident response. “God has a place for us.”
By nightfall they had had nearly fifteen offers to pick them up and take them somewhere. Horses and all.
“God has been guiding this journey for three years and nine months,” Tim assured each one. “He isn’t about to quit on us in the last few days or in the last ten miles of this trip. It’s been too neat up until this point and we are not going to take it away from Him.”
The starry night sky grew blacker and their eyes strained to see the pavement a few feet ahead. Tim steered his horse in crossing over to the other side of the street. Waiting for a car to pass by, he and Chico led the way across the four lanes. As the final horse completed the crossing, headlights flashed across its legs, blinding the couple momentarily. A small car pulled directly in front of them and shifted into park.
“Do you guys not have a place to be?” asked the woman out the passenger window. “This is dangerous for you to be out on the highway like this at 9:30 at night.” Her tone bordered on patronizing. “Now, we can go home and get the trailer and come back and get you all. Where are you going?”
“We traveled across America from the west coast and we only have four miles left to go,” Tim explained, halting his horse next to her window.
“Oh, well you’ve gotta get off the road tonight, honey,” she mothered. “You can’t continue to be out here like this.”
“Look,” Tim said plainly, “the Lord spoke to my heart this morning and said it would be obvious when we got to where we were supposed to be.”
Suddenly a man’s voice came from behind.
“So do you need a place to stay?”
Tim turned around in his saddle to see a tall man, mid-50s, standing in sweatpants and a t-shirt a couple yards back.
“We do,” he answered him, transfixed on his abrupt appearance out of nowhere.
The man turned slowly and pointed to the tree line on his left. “I have 80 acres of ground right through those trees and an empty house for you to sleep in.” His tone was soft, carrying a peaceful assurance as though he had been waiting for them on this curb for hours.
Things just got obvious.
They followed his car down a short side street leading to a gate across the driveway. Clearing the gate, the gravel road curved left and the couple looked over to see a massive octagon-shaped home with every window glowing with bright light all around its sides.
Their jaws dropped. It was like a castle hidden in the woods.
The man parked his car at a small trailer-home several hundred yards from the large octagon house and walked the rest of the way with them. He introduced himself as Bryan Lassiter, a pastor of two churches and caretaker of this property. This house was a former masonic lodge, he explained. No longer open to the public.
Approaching the house, Tim and Lynn began to unpack the horses to allow them to roam the grounds. “Look,” Bryan began, “you guys just use this place for your ministry. If you have people coming, just stay here and use this house as a place for all of you to gather. Don’t worry about getting hotels. Use the kitchen, make meals, do whatever you need to do.”
Tim looked up at Bryan in amazement, wondering if he could be a prophet. He couldn’t possibly have known that they had a multitude of people joining them tomorrow to celebrate the end of their journey reaching the coastline. How would he have known that they could use all this room to accommodate so many people?
Tim’s eyes filled with tears at the goodness of God. Looking up at the majesty of this grand home the totality of the journey flashed before his eyes, filling him with renewed awe and wonder once again of the ever-continuing, unwavering provision of his huge God.
It was truly above all that he could have asked or thought.