Believing And Seeing
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
The Great Smoky Mountains a/k/a Smoky Mountains or Smokies are a mountain range along the Tennessee-North Carolina border in the southeastern United States.
Within the Smokies is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Appalachian Trail passes through it. The National Park consists of well over 500,000 acres. It was established in 1934. There are over nine million visits per year, and it is the most-visited national park in the United States. The Smokies are home to the densest black bear population in the Eastern United States and the most diverse salamander population outside of the tropics.
Cades Cove is one of the most visited areas in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors are able to explore historic cabins, churches, and a grist mill; possibly view white-tailed deer; wild turkeys; and black bears in the meadow. According to website: nps.gov Cades Cove used to be a place to live for the first European settlers. They arrived in Cades Cove in the early 1820's. Before the 1820's, the Cherokee Indians traveled through the valley to hunt elk, bison, deer, and bear.
The name “Smoky” comes from the natural fog that often hangs over the range, and it appears to the eye as large smoke plumes. It takes inspiration to look at the smoky fog to be secure in the knowledge that the trees are actually there. All that is visible is the smoky fog.
God's people are similar to the smoky fog shrouding the mountain's trees. Oftentimes their faith wavers when they sense He is not visible to their naked eye. To kick their faith into gear, believers have to dig deeper into their godly spiritual understanding to be reassured of His presence. In 2 Corinthians, Paul stated: “For we live by believing and not by seeing.” (NLT).
Many days, due to such things as weather conditions; illness; working in windowless offices; or in a factory, His beauty and creation are not visible. But God is still there.
For instance, Helen Steiner Rice wrote a poem that expressed her gratitude to Almighty God for displaying His magnitude and presence throughout the earth. It is titled: “If You Meet God in the Morning, He'll Go With You Through the Day”. A few lines are: “The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof...It speaks of His greatness...it sings of His love...And each day at dawning...I lift my heart high...And raise up my eyes to the infinite sky...And so I give thanks...and my heart kneels to pray...”.
As God's people, whether viewing smoky fog in the mountains which to their eyes looks like gazing into a poor mirror; sailing the oceans; or observing the deserts, they should be mindful of the creativity of Almighty God the architect. Those observations ought to be enough to be an assurance of His magnificent creativity and presence. Thank God, and praise Him because His presence is with you!
Lord God, we thank You and praise You for giving to us an awareness of Your presence. Help us to appreciate the beauty that is constantly surrounding us. Amen.
~ Ann Brock Ludington