Of all the towns my husband and I have called home, one of the more interesting places we have lived has been a little mining town in the rolling foothills of California called Angels Camp. Some of you may recognize that name from the writings of Mark Twain as he spent quite a bit of his time travelling through that region of California during the Gold Rush of the mid 1800's.

Angels Camp is well known for its annual county fair, better known as "The Jumping Frog Jubilee" which was made famous (or infamous!) by Mark Twain's short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County" (1867). You would think that living in a quaint town that was made famous by frogs and a rich history of gold mining would be interesting enough, but no -- there's more. Angels Camp boasts several working cattle ranches, one of which was only a few miles from our home.

Living in this rural location, much of my time was spent driving our children to and from town. On one occasion in particular, a “not your everyday occurrence” stands out in my mind. As I sped around a corner of the oak tree lined highway, I came face to face with several hundred bovine! I immediately put my foot on the brakes and slowed down. My car was the only one on the road which was now completely blocked by the lumbering beasts. I felt trapped as I inched forward and I wondered how I would get past them to take my children to school on that day. Moments later the cattle were on all sides of us, stirring up dust and encircling the car. I could move forward no further. I felt confused and a bit of panic set in as the cattle crowded around our car. A steer is a rather large animal when it is right next to you – up close and personal! I felt boxed in, surrounded and pressed in on all sides. The road was impassable and I didn’t know what to do. Then suddenly, through the cloud of dust a cowboy appeared in front of me riding upon a horse. Yes, there really are still cowboys in California! (And in case you are wondering…he was dressed the part complete with chaps, a leather vest, Stetson hat and a shiny belt buckle.  Can't you just picture it?) I looked up at him through my car window and saw that he was motioning for me to continue driving. The man was calm and unruffled as he came alongside me and slowly directed me through the massive herd of cattle. His reassuring presence settled my nerves and my panic subsided. I kept my attention on my guide as we made our way through the crowded highway.  He stayed by me all the way until my car was beyond the steers and the road was clear.

This memory has sometimes come to my mind when I have felt weighed down and boxed in by the chaos of life. At times our jobs, responsibilities or life circumstances can seem so overwhelming that we feel hard pressed and confused as we try to figure out how to maneuver our way through the turmoil. Our focus often shifts from God to our troubles and stress begins to overtake us. Have you ever felt like that? Completely overwhelmed and surrounded by burdens that seemingly block your forward progress? Take heart! God’s word promises that He will never abandon us.  He will be our Guide.

“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

Maintaining our focus on God's character and not on our circumstances is essential when navigating through life. We will all face trials and “road blocks” at one time or another but when we focus on His promises our spirits will be comforted. Knowing that God will never abandon us will help us face every obstacle in our path. So, let’s remember when things are hectic and we feel a bit frazzled, to keep our eyes on our Guide. In the midst of a herd of troubles He’ll stay by us and lead us through.

Living for Him,

Linked with:
Winsome Wednesday
Into the Word Wednesday
Whimsical Wednesday
Word Filled Wednesday 
Thankful Thursdays
Thankful Thursday
Spiritual Sundays

P.S.  I hope you enjoyed this re-post from 2011.  I have been going through "old" posts that have dealt with trusting God through the storms of life in an effort to refocus myself.  I know that God is always trustworthy and He is always here.  Sometimes, though, I just can feel overwhelmed by circumstances in life.  This time I have been going through has been lasting much too long for my liking (is a trial ever to anyone's liking? lol) but I am determined to cling to my Savior and listen for His voice.  I know He has a plan and His plan is always good!  Blessings to each of  you!  May you feel God's loving embrace today!


  1. metzgersixJuly 24, 2013

    Joan, thanks so much for linking up with Woman to Woman's Word Filled Wednesday! Please join us again next week!

    I have felt that press of life and circumstances lately. Thank you for the reminder to rest in Him in the midst of it all!


  2. Shari MillerJuly 24, 2013

    Thank you for this beautiful post. We can always use the reminder to keep our eyes fixed on God. Perfect analaogy!

  3. I was excited to see the link up at your blog...I found you through Tracy Teppler from My Daily Walk in His Grace!
    Yes, as we rest in Him, He will give us the peace we need to handle the different seasons in life. What a blessing it is to be loved by Him!

    Blessings, Joan

  4. Thanks, Shari! As we keep our eyes fixed on Him, He will steady us and guide us through all the storms in life. What a blessing to have the peace beyond all understanding!

    Blessings, Joan

  5. Joan, you know that I will understand EVERYTHING you're saying in this post. Yes, in the middle of the herd, terrified of getting trampled - that would sum up how I feel a lot of the time. But, even in the stomping stampede of life, God stands strong next to me.

    Praying that your trials will subside - and that God will continue to grant you HIS peace through them.


  6. Thank God that He is here with us to guide us through! We just have to keep our eyes on that Stetson! ;-)

    Blessings, Joan

  7. Dear Joan
    I can imagine that it must have been a scary experience for you! Yes, we encounter many scary, overwhelming situations in life and no one is immune from the sorrow and trials of a broken world. But we can have peace amongst it all as we learn to abide in Jesus and to keep our eyes on Him.
    Blessings XX

  8. Yes! And that peace is beyond all understanding! I am so thankful that our God is such a faithful guide and that He will always lead us through the difficult times. He lead me today as I faced a stressful situation, and I know He'll guide me again. I just need to keep my eyes on Him!

    Blessings, Joan

  9. I am always grateful for God's faithfulness.Life is a difficult journey and often I am barely hanging on to him. Good to hear your words today. Thank you for sharing.

  10. We can always count on God's faithfulness on our journey in life. Things aren't always easy, but He helps us along the way! I am so thankful!

    Blessings, Joan

  11. Joan,

    I just found your blog.

    What a lovely place to visit.



  12. Hi Joan, What a great post, illustrating exactly what it feels like to be overwhelmed, thank you for sharing it with us. x


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