Once inside the narrow gorge the towering mountain on either side causes the temperature to drop.  Despite your jacket you shiver.  The donkey glances towards you.  His steady pace turns into a trot as he tramps through the long thin reedy grasses.  To balance you lean forward, your legs tightened around him, your head nearly resting on his neck. The warmth of his body warms yours.  From that position you glimpse little in the darkness of the narrow passage.  Several times you hold your breath when jutting rocks seem almost upon you.  Yet the donkey doesn’t hesitate in his belief that you can both make it through.  Your mind vies between fear and exhilaration, but you trust his judgement.

Intent on the ride you look up when daylight bursts upon you, your grip loosens, you slip.  The donkey slows so you can right yourself and take a look at your new surroundings.  Spread before and below is a lush green valley.  A sliver of sun has overcome the height of the mountains and beams over the centre of the valley.  As the donkey heads into that the heat rays quickly penetrate your thick coat.  Music seems to waft on a light breeze and a ridiculous sense of joy fills you.

On both sides of a winding strip of water, there are inclines dotted with trees and little thatched cottages.  Their gardens appear to go down to the water’s edge. A few look to be farms with cattle, others allotments or orchards, and some just trees and flowers.  You can only stare as the donkey negotiates the rough road down into this tranquil scene.  It is so picture perfect, it’s the kind of place you only dream about.

“…What euphoria fills those who ever trust in you (Lord)” Psalm 84:12  (TPT)

Have you ever experienced overflowing joy?

Episode 16