Page 22 was a day of prayer and worship as I spent time with God on some trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. When I woke up, the forecast was calling for one hundred percent chance of rain so I decided I to head over to Cades Cove where I could spend time in one of the old church buildings reading scripture, praying, and singing songs of praise. I also packed some rain gear and decided I would brave the elements in order to get some photos and since waterfalls were one of the themes for the day, a little rain ought to help. 🙂
As I reached the Cove, the heavy cloud cover had disappeared overhead but it looked like it was raining in the mountains. I stopped and spent some time at one of the old church buildings along the roadway and spent some time in worship and prayer. One of the reasons I conference location early when I can, is so I can spend time praying for those who will be attending. When I reached the trailhead for a waterfall hike I planned on taking, it still looked like rain over the mountains but the sky was clear where I was. Since I was prepared for the rain, I set out on what was a six mile round trip hike. The sun stayed out for the entire hike and I found myself shedding the rain gear rather quickly. Today’s photo was taken as I headed back to the truck with the sun filtering brightly through the trees onto the trail. There were a few people using the trails, but for the most part I had them to myself and could softly sing songs of praise without frightening people.
After finishing that hike, I snacked on some Subway cookies from last night’s meal as I set out in search of additional waterfalls. There were several visible from the road and with the apparent rain that had fallen over the mountains earlier, the water was flowing quite well. As I would stop and take pictures, I would keep checking to see if I had cell phone service. After photographing the final waterfall that my map showed was visible from the road, I headed to the visitors center to see if I could use my phone there. As it turned out, when I went to get my phone out of its holster, it wasn’t there! The last place I had checked for signal was six miles back, so I headed back to see if by chance it was still laying next to where I had parked the truck. No such luck, but I had taken a short hike along the river from that spot so I began to retrace my path. I was almost back to the truck without finding it, so I asked God to help me see it if it was out there. After praying, I took one step and it was right there face down in front of me! The park was busy today. I don’t know why I found it nearly half an hour after I dropped it. I’ve prayed more earnestly about things of greater value that have been lost, without ever finding them or having them restored, so I don’t know why my prayer was answered the way it was today but I am thankful that it was.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- It’s good to consider “what might be” until it keeps us from doing “what could be”.
- Dressing to go hiking on a cool, rainy day doesn’t look the same as what is needed to go hiking on a warm, sunny day.
- Being aware of our changing surroundings can help us be appropriate in what we do and say.
- I hiked over 10 miles today because I love photographing waterfalls. How far will I, do I, hike because I love people?
- Prayer is powerful and effective. While it is easier to say that when we get the answer we want, it is just as true when the answer isn’t what we want.
- Oh, the one hundred percent chance of rain did come. I came off the final trail for the day a little after 5:30 this evening and as I drove away it began raining within five minutes.