LIKE A WATERED GARDEN
By Ada Brownell
Scripture: “The Lord will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and strengthen your bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not” (Isaiah 58:11 NKJ).
Because of my husband’s railroad job as a telegraph operator, in the 1950s we had to move to Thompson, Utah, population 100, four bars, no church, a uranium mill, and an acid plant.
Thompson rose in the middle of the Utah desert with cactus, a ghost town not far away, run-down homes, and a two-room schoolhouse. We rented probably the only house in town available the first time we landed in Thompson. It didn’t have a working toilet (we poured water in it to get it to flush), and no running water in the kitchen. We used an outside faucet.
We moved and came back a short time later and the only house for rent was a tar-paper shack with an outhouse, and a cold-water faucet in the kitchen.
It was 80 miles to Fruita, Colorado, our home, and 38 miles to Moab--the nearest church. We drove the 38 miles on Sunday nights to attend services (Les worked on Sunday mornings). We went to Colorado to buy food. At first we hauled coal for our winter heat in the trunk of our car, and the neighbors kept stealing it. The only place in Thompson to buy milk, bread, and few canned items was two bars.
“Lord, how did we miss your will and end up in Thompson?” I’d ask when I prayed. “Help us!”
Before we moved there I was youth president in our church in Fruita, and taught a Sunday school class.
I was particularly discouraged when my oldest brother, Dr. Virgil Nicholson, sent me the above scripture. I hung on to it, and kept asking God to work in our lives. Then one night in Moab during church God poured His fire and encouragement into my soul. I told the Lord, “If you’ll send me a helper, I’ll start a Sunday school in Thompson.”
Within a week God sent a beautiful Baptist woman my age to town, and we got acquainted. Within days we had permission to meet in the schoolhouse. In no time, 16 kids were enrolled, and another young mother volunteered to help.
I’d already been doing a little writing, sold some, and became interested in newspaper work. I was accepted as a correspondent from Thompson for The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
We eventually purchased a beautiful mobile home.
Looking back I see the Lord guided my footsteps right through that desert. I probably would have never become a successful writer or a newspaper woman had I not gone through Thompson. He satisfied my soul in the desert, strengthened my bones, and guided my footsteps.
PRAYER: Lord help me to not to stagger at your promises, but believe your Word and be victorious through your mighty power.