Mrs. Grady’s eyes sparkled when she saw James standing in the doorway of her pantry. “Come in James,” she said with revealing enthusiasm. “I heard you were coming. Have a seat here at the table. Just so happens I’m making some of those cherry tarts you’re so fond of. The tea’s ready.”
“I’d love a cup, thank you.” James said with warm appreciation.
Time passed quickly as Mrs. Grady seemed to have an endless supply of James’ favorite foods and sweet conversation. When the servant let James know that the package was ready, he looked at his watch and realized he’d been there quite some time. He thanked Mrs. Grady for her kind attention and headed out to the carriage.
“Come back soon,” Mrs. Grady said with affection in her voice.”
James turned and smiled. The carriage was ready to go when he arrived at the stable.
“You’re all ready to go James,” the servant said. “The master offers his apology for the wait.”
“That’s okay,” said James. “The time passed quickly.”
The servant gave him a knowing expression then said, “The fog’s beginning to set in, so be careful. It’ll be especially thick near the river.”
James took the carriage seat, gave a nod of thanks, and they were on their way.
The long trek to the river progressed well. The two horses managed the road smoothly. Rebel seemed to follow Josh’s lead without concern. The sun was getting low in the west, but it still gave plenty of light. The dappling of the light from the trees along the road produced a peaceful feeling. As they progressed the fog began to appear first as a light mist then ever thickening. They approached the river just as the sun set. The fog was dense and visibility was minimal. As the fog thickened Rebels trust began to thin. James could see his uneasiness. Near the bridge Rebel tried to bolt.
James stopped the carriage, gave a moment’s pause, and then proceeded slowly. Josh was so familiar with this foggy bridge crossing that he moved ahead with confidence. Rebel, not being able to see where he was going, was apprehensive and skittish. Trusting Josh was out the window. He felt on his own and afraid. Rebel inched forward jumping at ever sound and bolting at every dip in the footing. James was patient, allowing the team to move as slowly as they needed.
On the descent from the bridge, the fog was especially thick. James couldn’t even see the horses in front of him. Fortunately, the road was wide and flat here. They moved forward cautiously. Josh could feel the edge with his hooves, and he was able to keep them on the roadway. Eventually the road began to ascend, and with the ascent, the fog thinned.
Barney greeted them as they approached the stable. “Good to see you finally home,” He said. “We were worried.”
“There was a three hour delay at Grantham Estates,” James offered. “Had to wait for the package.”
“Mrs. Grady take good care of you?” asked Barney as a friendly dig.
James just smiled in reply.
I had two scripture passages in mind as I wrote this little story. Like Rebel I struggle with trust issues. These scriptures delight my soul and challenge my flesh.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct you paths.
I recognize that Rebel has trust issues, and I see that his journey would have been easy if he was able to trust in Josh’s knowledge of what lies ahead.