I had heard many, wild stories about the mighty Mississippi River. It was wide, rushing and very dangerous, or, so said the stories.  Great steam boats at one time navigated the Mississippi to load on bales of cotton and other farm crops and manufactured goods to transport to the Gulf and other ports on the way.

    There was a time that the only means of crossing the Mississippi River was by ferry. When I was in about the sixth  grade Dad decided that we would go to Columbus, Miss. and spend the Christmas with his youngest brother. Not long before that trip, Louisiana and Mississippi had jointly built a bridge crossing the Mississippi. From the Louisiana side one could cross the bridge toll-free. However, from the Mississippi side, one had to pay toll to go to Louisiana. I was over whelmed at how imposing the bridge was as we neared it. For many miles we could see it rising high into the sky, which allowed the steam boats to still navigate the river.

    In the earlier days there were only two ferries for crossing the Mississippi River. One was at Natchez and the other hundreds of miles north. There is a story back in those days of a weary traveler who came to the banks of the Mississippi for the first time. Of course there was no bridge and no ferry. It was in the midst of winter, and the surface of the mighty stream was covered with ice.

    Have you ever tried walking on ice on a cold wintry day, wind howling around your ears?  I have known of men who fell and broke both arms or both legs, so treacherous was the ice.  The worn,  weary traveler questioned, did he dare cross over?  Would the uncertain ice be able to bear his weight?

    Night was falling, and it was urgent that he reach the other side. Finally, after much hesitation and with many fears, he began to creep cautiously across the surface of the ice on his hands and knees. About halfway over he heard the sound of singing behind him. Out of the darkness came another man, driving a four-horse load of coal across the ice and singing merrily as he went his way!

    Here he was — on his hands and knees, trembling lest the ice not be strong enough to bear him up! And there, as if whisked away by the winter's wind, went the other man, his horses, his sleigh,  his load of coal — upheld by the ice on which he, the weary traveler, was creeping!

    Some of us have learned only to creep upon the promises of God. Cautiously we venture forth upon His promises, as though our light step might make His promises more secure. Let us dismiss such fears! "Oh, ye of little faith!" rings out our Savior's words through the centuries. Our faith is founded upon the unchangeable and unbreakable promises of God. "I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee." Yes —  "underneath are the everlasting arms!"

    In days of peril or perplexity, when our faltering faith seems no match for the gathering storm, may we hold fast to the faith of the Christian poet:

    "Now I have found the firm foundation

       Which holds mine anchor ever sure;

    'Twas laid before the world's creation

        In Christ my Savior's wounds secure;

     Foundation which unmoved shall stay

       When heaven and earth will pass away."                    


     Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.




                                                                                                             Updated January 13, 2010

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        Each devotional was written by Parson Don Brown, and inspired under God's Direction

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