We returned from our handcart trek five days ago, and I still don’t feel like I have fully recovered. Although I did walk a few miles around Martin’s Cove, it was not the walking that was so demanding for me. I think we were exhausted before we even left. We collected food and packed coolers on Sunday evening, and by the time everything was ready, it was close to midnight. Then we were up by around 4am to get ready to go.

Then, we drove for 6 hours. Along with 5 others, I was responsible for preparing all of the meals for about 70 people. Inevitably we encountered problems with each meal- winds that blew out the flames on our stoves, hamburger patties frozen in a solid block, missing or inadequate equipment, etc. We did our best to improvise, and I think the food in general was very good. It just seemed as though we would run from preparing and cleaning up from one meal to having to start the process all over again. I can’t think of a single meal in 4 days where I actually sat down or had more than a few quick bites. We were basically on our feet all day, every day, from early morning to late at night. There were times when I literally could not think straight or even form a coherent sentence. It was good though to be so busy and engaged, and we were fortunate to have many people that were willing to help when needed.

Many are familiar with Francis Webster’s quote where he defended the Martin Company’s decision to make the trek late in the year, even knowing the likely calamity that they would face. If you are interested in reading the full account, check here (search for “testimony” to find this specific story).

I am intrigued by Francis’ statement that he and other pioneers that suffered gladly paid the price that they did because it was through these trials that they became acquainted with God.

What are your thoughts? Do we need to go though extreme tragedy as these pioneers to come to know God? If not, since few of us will ever experience anything close to what these saints did, how do we come to the same knowledge of God that they did?

I have my own ideas that I am happy to share but would love for others to give their thoughts about this.

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