Smoky Mountain Rain and Navigating the Fog of Life

Welcome  No secret here, but I am somewhat obsessed with the Smoky Mountains.  My husband and I have made a few trips there and, God willing, we will move to that area in a few years.  And no surprise at all that Smoky Mountain Rain ranks in my top favorite songs of all time.  On our trips, we have seen amazing scenery, natural beauty, majestic waterfalls, and magnificent trails.  Even spending time in the iconic smoky mountain rain, lending itself to the uniqueness of these hills, was a glorious experience.  But one evening in 2004, this mountain “smoke” was anything but calm, peaceful, and tranquil!

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Food For Thought  My husband and I spent a week in the Smoky Mountains for our honeymoon.  For most of the week the weather was amazing, but we knew the possibility of rain was always there, as in fact the Smoky Mountains are located in a temperate rainforest with upper elevations receiving as much as 85 inches of precipitation a year.  The cycle of condensation and evaporation is what gives the “smoky” effect to the mountains.  Plentiful moisture combined with elevation leads to grand waterfall displays, so we don’t complain about the rain.

We had just one day that week with rain and thunderstorms.  Of course, it didn’t deter us from our adventures, knowing the rain would fill the waterfalls and make for some spectacular photography opportunities.  The rain also kept early-summer temperatures down and the crowds indoors and off the trails.  We did a couple of short hikes until lightening and thunder drove us to the car.  No worries, though.  We used the opportunity to take an “auto tour” and used the Foothills Parkway to observe northern parts of the national park.  It was a thrill just being in this amazing place.

The rain did let up and temperatures began to climb in the early evening.  The moisture of the day’s rain along with increased temperature brought in an amount of steam and fog that I had never experienced.  We got very excited about seeing the Smoky Mountains “in action.”  We took pictures and gawked with touristy enthusiasm.  Then, we decided to head back to our cabin to clean up before dinner.

The cabin my husband booked for our honeymoon was incredible.  It was perched on the side of a mountain, with massive windows overlooking the mountains.  It was a real treat to wake up in bed each morning and look out the window of the loft to be greeted by a Smoky Mountain sunrise.  But let me stress again, it was on the side of a mountain, with a very tiny, narrow road winding up the side of the mountain to reach our temporary residence.  As we pulled off the black top road onto the narrow gravel road we began to have concerns about our venture up this steep, perilous drive.  This was a risky route even in broad daylight and clear skies.  Now it was getting dark and the fog was thick as pea soup.  No, pea soup had nothing on this brume.

It’s a tight fit getting up this road, but with the fog leaving us blind, we prayed we wouldn’t meet any oncoming traffic.  Other vehicles aside, we still had no idea how close we were to the edge of the road, which tumbled down into the valley of forest below.  We crawled up the mountain at about 5 miles per hour, aware of some wicked turns and bends in the road that, if missed, would send us toppling over the side of the mountain.  But, thanks to God’s protection and my cautious driving, we made it to the cabin without incident.  I’ll admit, though, that it was probably the scariest 45 minute drive I’ve ever made.

Thinking of this reminds of the fog of life.  In the midst of all the beauty life has to offer, like those mountains, a dangerous fog can come up and completely blind us, forcing us to lose our focus and stagger about without direction.  It can come out of nowhere or it can slowly creep into our lives, robbing us of our sight and vision, taking our eyes off the promises of God and what He has in store for us.  I was a victim of the slow-creeping fog that maneuvered its way into my life, but even as it took years to fully set in, I was unaware of how I was losing sight, losing sight of God’s will for my life, losing sight of my own beliefs, losing sight of how I should live and act as a devoted Christian.

With the fog of the world fully engulfing my thoughts and actions I was traveling quite precariously through life.  I was teetering on the edge of the mountain of sin and regret.  I continued to climb up, blindly, knowing that every turn in the road could send me plummeting to my death, both spiritually and literally.  Fortunately, like that night driving in my car, I prayed for God’s protection and guidance.  I needed God to show me the road that night and I need God to show me the road now.  Indeed, God has shown me the road and that road isn’t easy, but at least I can see the road and its obstacles.  God has lifted me out of my fog and I am able to focus on His promises.  These promises lead me, by faith, when I feel myself becoming blinded by the thick mire of life’s circumstances.

Driving in fog and misty rains is quite dangerous, physically speaking.  But going through life in a spiritual fog can be just as damaging.  Today, I pray for God to help you see clearly to navigate life’s most scary passages.

Today’s Scriptures  Here are seven Bible verses that talk about being able to see, with God’s help.  We can call upon His power and healing to relieve us of our spiritual blindness.  Today’s verses are from the NIV Holy Bible.

Psalm 146:8  The LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous.

Isaiah 35:5  Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

John 9:39  Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

2 Corinthians 3:16  But whenever anyone turns to the LORD, the veil is taken away.

2 Corinthians 4:6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

Ephesians 1:18  I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people…

Ephesians 5:8  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the LORD. Live as children of light.

Today’s Suggested Products from Amazon  These are tools I use during my Bible studies.

ESV Holy Bible, Journaling Edition, from Crossway Publishing

Sharpie Gel Highlighters

Sharpie Journaling Pens

Amazon Basics 3-Ring Binders, 4-Pack

Bostitch 3-Hole Punch