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Lost in the Adirondack Mountains
" Some time ago, I kinda took advantage of a little trip. I'd just got married. I see my wife setting there looking at me. And we'd just got married, and I was going to take her on a little honeymoon. We'd saved up a few nickels, and I was going up to Niagara Falls. And I thought while I was that close to the Adirondack, I might as well get a little hunting in. So I took her with me hunting.
And so when I was... So when I was... Put her in a little lean-to. The ranger was coming up the next day, up on Hurricane Mountain, the Adirondack.
24 † My mother's a part Indian. And I thought I was too much of a woodsman to ever be turned around. So I told her; I said, "Now, Meda..." Billy was with her then, about five years old. And I said... His mother, you know, is dead. And so, I said, "Now, you have my dinner ready, I'll be back about noon. I'm going down here. There's a bear using that side of the mountain, and I'm going down."
Well, I got on the trail of that bear, and I kept on going. And went over in a few more hills, and a few more hills. And after while, I looked across and I seen a great big buck, just what I was looking for for that fall. I shot the deer, and I said, "Say, looky here. There's a storm coming."
E-25 † And if anyone ever hunted and know what a storm means in the mountains, you'd just better set down. But I couldn't set down; I had a wife and baby; and they was in the woods for the first time in life in a little lean-to. Well, they'd freeze to death. It would go ten below that night. And that storm coming, it might last two or three days. And my wife's the biggest coward I ever seen in the woods, and she'd be scared to death. So I thought I must go back.
So I got my gun up real quick. And I put on my coat. And I started up a little drain that I'd come down. And I walked. The fog was coming low, and the wind down low. And I said, "Oh, I know how to get out of here, I'll just go straight back up, go over the side of the hill, and go right over to the camp. It isn't over five miles from here."
26 † So I walked and I walked. And I said, "Where did I turn off at here?" And the first thing you know, I stopped, and I was standing by the side of my deer. I started again, and I come back to the same place. I started again, going one certain way, and come back to the same place. Now, the Indian calls that the death walk; you're walking in a circle. You'll never get out of that. So, and I'd come over... I knew I'd crossed over the mountain some way and got into the, what's called the giants, it was flat. But which a way could I go back? How did I get away from that circle?
Well, I got nervous. And I said, "Now, wait a minute. Billy, you're too good a woodsman to be lost," talking to myself. "You know you know how to get out of here. You must know. Meda will die, and so will Billy. And you must go out of here." I said, "Sure. I know how to get out. I'll just go right up here, and turn off, and go over."
27 † I started walking. And I got more nervous. And I knowed I was lost. And the fog was almost as low as that curtain. And I... Blowing through there, just snowing, fogging, wind... And I knew it was going to be a problem to get out of there.
And I started. I said, "Now, when I come over the mountain, the wind was in my face. So I'm going right straight back with the wind." And I had the wind to my back. If it was in my face... And I started off that way. And when I did, I heard Something quote this Scripture, which came to me this afternoon. "God is a--a very present help in a time of trouble. He is our refuge and our strength." Well, I just kept walking on. And then it kept getting louder and louder. "Oh," I said, "I'm imagining that." I said, "Now, I know I'm getting nervous."
28 † When anyone's lost any amount of time, they get a fever. Then they start running, get out of their head, fall over a cliff or something and kill themself. And so, I knew that was what was happening to me, that I was going to get that fever coming on me, because I was thinking of my wife.
Ordinarily, I'd have found a little place and pulled in, got me a porcupine or something, and that'd been it till the storm was over. But I couldn't think for them. They were going to die. And I said, "I must get to them." So I said, "I'm getting nervous now. So I'll know this is the way, and I'm going right straight this a way."
And Something kept saying, "God is our refuge, and He is a present help in the time of trouble."
29 † So, I said, "Now, I must be cracking up. I'm losing my mind now, because I'm hearing that in my ears." And I said, "It can't be. I'm going right. I know I'm right. I'm too good a woodsman to be lost." I just kept going. I said, "I know directions, and I'm not lost."
Sometimes people like to kid themselves like that today by joining a church. Don't kid yourself. You better be lined up right. God is our refuge and strength, and a present help in the time of troubles.
And as I walked on, I thought, "Here, I know I'm going wrong, because I'm turning right back around this way again, and I realized that I was lost." Oh, that's a horrible feeling, to be lost. So I said, "I admit, Lord, that I'm no woodsman. I'll have to trust You." And I took my hat off, and knelt down on it. Set my rifle beside the tree. And I said, "Lord, I am lost. I'm not worthy to live. But she and Billy is worthy of living. I brought them into the woods. Not for my sake, Lord, but for their sake, direct me out of these woods, Lord. For I'm lost and I don't know where I am. And You're the only One can help me. This late November, this storm may last for days."
30 † I got up, pulled my hat back out, put it on my head. I said, "Now, I know as a Christian; I'll follow this one direction. And I'll go on." And I started walking on. And I said, "Now, this is my idea. I'm going straight this a way. That's the way I feel to go." And as I started walking, all of a sudden, Something laid Its hands on me.
You may say, "Brother Branham, you just thought that."
No, I didn't. I felt It so much till I turned. And when I turned, It must have been God, for the fog cleared away far enough for me to see I was going directly from Hurricane Mountain; I saw the tower behind me where the ranger stayed. But he wasn't there in that time of year. I was going straight into Canada.
E-31 † Oh, I turned quickly towards the direction that I seen the tower in. I knowed I couldn't move. I had to go over cliffs and everything to get to it. But at least six or seven miles in that storm, what could've pulled back that fog but the hand of God? If anyone was ever in a storm in the mountains, why, it's so thick you can hardly sometimes see your hands before you. And for miles, it cleared back just for a spare of a moment. And I'd had my back turned to it, but Something laid Their hands on me, and caused me to turn to see what It was. He's a very present help in a time of trouble.
When I got my bearings, I took off my hat, and I said, "God, I've served You some ten years or better now. I'll serve You till I die. Direct me, O Lord to that tower." And I had to keep my course.
And that's the way it is. When God saves you, you've got to keep your course towards Calvary. Don't you turn right or left.
32 † I seen on top of that mountain, there was that little ranger's cabin where... And I knowed if I got to that, there's a telephone line run all the way down about six miles down the mountain until it got to the little lean-to right where we were at, 'cause the cabin was close to the lean-to. It wasn't open yet. He was coming up later to hunt with me.
Well, I... Over the hills, up over shale rock, sliding, cutting myself. It got dark, 'cause I'd been walking around. It was about nearly four thirty that afternoon then. And it got dark, and I couldn't see no more. Storm twisting and blowing, and animals a running.
33 † I had to walk with my hand up, because I know I tacked that line on the tree just about that high. And I knowed if I was in the right direction, my hand would finally hit that line. And I'd keep this hand up, and the snow would go down, it blizzard and freezing way up high on the mountain. My arm would be so cold and numb. And I'd have to stop, put my rifle in this hand to get it warm, put it under my coat, then reach back so I'd be sure I didn't cross it. Raise my hand up again and start walking.
Darker and darker. And it's getting... I knowed my wife would be frantically. Finally, I thought I'd lost the way. And I stopped many times. But after while I--I hit a something. I'd stop, and it'd be a branch. I'd pull it. It'd be a branch. I'd raise my hand again and start again.
That's the way you go to Calvary, with both hands up hollering for mercy. God's direct you.
34 † You don't know how I felt when my hand hit something. I pulled on it, and it was the wire. I knowed I could hold to that wire. It would lead me to my loved ones. What a feeling it was to know that God had helped me. That was a relief I knowed that I was saved then.
But it wasn't nothing like the thrill it was one night when I held my hands in the air until something else touched my hand and my heart. Was a wire of the Holy Spirit that tells me that the end of this road my loved ones and Saviour is awaiting.
As I thought on my ways, I wasn't a hunter. I wasn't a woodsman. God was my refuge and my strength.