Trail Markers for the Frightening Wilderness

When LeRoy and I were hiking a few years ago, we started out on a clearly marked mountain trail. But the further we went, the fewer the trail markers! Gradually we were wandering through rough terrain and completely off track. After several hours of trudging through the wilderness, searching for signs of our original trail and coming up with nothing, we finally admitted we were lost. As the sun was starting to set, we found a barbed wire fence at the edge of the woods and crossed it, wandered onto a dirt road, and flagged down a lone pick-up truck to hitch a ride back to our car—more than twenty miles away!

Getting lost in those woods was nothing compared to what we’re navigating today. While we were wandering, lost, hungry, and thirsty, I wouldn’t have thought that I’d ever be thankful for that experience, but today I am. That day’s “adventure” gave me a visual of how to navigate fear.

Whenever we lose sight of the guiding markers, we’re sure to get lost in the wilderness.

Whenever I find myself wandering through the wilderness of fear, I’ve learned to depend on “faith markers” to get me back on the trail and out of the woods. And it is imperative that I keep those trail markers in front of me, all along the way, or I’m headed for destruction. When I lose sight of the “faith markers,” I’m quickly swallowed up in fear and confusion.

One of my favorite faith markers is Psalm 46.

[box]God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea . . .[/box]

In other words . . . when my life comes crashing down, God is there to serve as my refuge and strength; therefore, there’s no reason for fear.

Many times in the early morning hours, before my eyes open, especially when I’m walking through a season of intense loss or fear (like where we find ourselves now), Psalm 46 comes to my lips. It’s something I hid in my heart years ago, during another season when it seemed the earth was shifting beneath our feet, and it’s become an essential faith marker for me.

As I quote this ancient truth, it takes me to the sanctuary of God’s reality and leads me to moments of worship. This Psalm reminds me that He’s the One who can melt the earth with one word or rebuke the raging sea at His command. And then tenderly, my faithful Father brings me out of the wilderness of fear to rest in the safety of His hand.

I need Faith Markers to keep my heart pressing into the path He has for us right now. Those faith markers are what will keep my eyes fixed on truth, what will provide the endurance to run well the race he has set before us when I’m tempted to wander through a wilderness of fear, deception, despair, and self-centered thinking.

Faith Markers keep my heart:

o   Ruled by peace

o   Rooted in joy

o   Receptive to truth

o   Rallied to fresh worship

o   Radically committed to His purpose  

In the next posts, we’ll look at each of these five statements and see how this works by using the truths from Psalm 46. For those of you who are regular readers of my blog, you might recognize this post as I’ve picked it up and dusted it off from the archives (and tweaked it a bit). Last week, a reader left a comment and a question on the old post from 2013. So, “Kim” (the reader who left the comment), I hope you’re still reading and will catch the posts, this week and next, that might help to answer your question.

Do you have a favorite faith marker you’d like to share with us today?

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash


  • Leonor

    Psalm 63:1-4 one of my faith markers
    Romans 5:2-5
    Praying for LeRoy and you.

    Yesterday at church, my pastor was preaching on Acts 3
    and as he took us through the passage, I remembered your husband.
    Our pastor told us how he prays for his daughter
    she has been suffering intense pain because of her juvenile arthritis.
    These were some of his words; God have mercy on her, please! Father if you will, would you allow her a taste here on
    earth of how it’s going to be in the new heavens and in the the earth, where there will be no more pain, no more suffering…..

    My heart was so tuned and new that pain and anguish… I also remembered your previous post

    I prayed that for his daughter, my daughter and your husband.
    For God’s mercy and grace in the my pastor pray for his daughter.

  • Rache'l Campbell

    Dearest Kim ~ Oh how I have been kept ” ruled, rooted, receptive, railed and radically committed” to the awesome grace and power of our Glorious Lord through the faith~filled journey He is leading you and LeRoy through minute by minute. Keeping you both ever before the Throne of Grace!!!

  • Alrica - South Africa

    Hi Kim. Mine is “I am confident in this. I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
    Psalms 27:13. Thanks for your sharing. May Father God continue to work in you and LeRoy’s lives. He is indeed writing a beautiful story out of this experience. Lots of love. Alrica

  • Jeri Ann

    I have 4 faith markers. They are: Psalms 28:7 – The Lord is my strength & my shield; my heart trusts in HIm & I am helped. Therefore, my heart rejoices & I praise Him with my song. John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I don’t give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. Psalms 118:14 – The Lord is my strength & my defense. He had become my salvation. Isaiah 58:11 – The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sin-scorched land & will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

    My prayers are with you and Leroy as you travel this path God has you on. The beautiful tapestry He is weaving will be magnificent. Lots of love. Jeri Ann

  • Vivian Etherington

    Colossians 3, especially verses 1-4 about setting my mind on things above, but the whole chapter.
    Psalm 63 about longing for the Lord.
    Psalm 34– I will bless the Lord at all times!
    So grateful for the Word of God and the Spirit who takes it and applies it to us and brings it to life!
    Much love and prayers!