A guest post written by Greg Dunlap
For nearly fifty years our family has met for a camping trip/reunion in a beautiful and remote area owned by friends. The only access is a single-lane, dirt road, which is also used by the occasional hiker from an adjacent state park.
This summer my cousins, my wife, and I arrived at the site early to clear brush and set up the camp prior to the rest of our group’s arrival. As we prepared dinner that evening, the quiet was unexpectedly broken by a thunderous “crack, crack, boom” from the direction of the road. Initially, it sounded like gunshots. However, we decided that it must have been a fallen tree and walked down to the road to find it. Despite walking the road in either direction, the source of the noise wasn’t found, so we assumed it must have occurred across the narrow valley.
The following morning our cousins needed to return to town for a bible study class and departed. As I sat down to study the Christian Science bible lesson for that week, the cousins returned and reported that they had found the fallen tree, which had crashed down on the road we had traveled on several times the previous day – completely blocking it. We had a small chain saw and ax in camp and we grabbed them and proceeded down the road to cut up the tree.
Arriving at the site we found, to our complete surprise, the exact remedy for the situation already at hand. Two lumberjacks had arrived on the other side of the massive tree and were preparing to cut it up using a chain saw of impressive size. Soon they had that huge roadblock safely out of the way. They explained that they were on a survey in preparation for some selective logging later the next year and had come upon the fallen tree apparently right after my cousins had left the site. We helped to move the cut timber from the road and thanked the men, who disappeared into the wilderness from which they had emerged a short time before. We did not see them again.
Returning to camp, I reflected on some facts of that morning:
- We had been on that road several times the previous day and had walked directly under the spot where the massive tree was broken but hung up in the boughs of another tree.
- When the tree eventually dropped on the road, it was at night when no one was in the path of its fall.
- In fifty years of camping in that spot we had never once seen, heard, or in any manner encountered a single lumberjack anywhere in that large and remote valley.
In fact, the thought of lumberjacks suddenly appearing to correct the problem of a fallen tree seemed so perfect it made me laugh. What more exact solution could be wished for? I couldn’t have planned a solution that unusual and exact.
When I am tempted by discouragement or impatience regarding what appears to be imprecision and uncertainty in our world, I am grateful to recall this little lesson in the woods – that “there is a law of God that is applicable to every conceivable phase of human experience, and no situation or condition can present itself to mortal thought which is outside of the direct influence of this infinite law. The effect of the operation of law is always to correct and govern, to harmonize and adjust.” God’s Law of Adjustment, CS Journal, Jan 1916. God’s precise law is always at hand, providing satisfying and complete remedies.
And often a remedy shows up in a way which human reasoning alone would never expect.