Judges 6:12 – And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, Gideon, and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of, fearless, courage.
Bobby and I enjoy hiking but not just any hiking, waterfalls. Our hiking quest is always in search of outstanding waterfalls. We have hiked many of the norms, Abrams at Cades Cove, Vogel, several around Vogel State Park, but we have such a thirst for out of the norm waterfalls.
From the time I was twelve until I graduated from high school, I lived in an environment of verbal and emotional abuse. During that time, I learned to stay within the safety of the four walls inside my bedroom. As long as my music could not be heard or my one friend who could come to my house was quiet, I was shielded from the abuse.
As the nails of adversity were continually being pounded into my heart, I taught myself how to escape through my dreams and I developed an increasing desire for chocolate. God had been pushed to the back for a season because Mother and I no longer went to church nor did she and I read God’s Word together anymore.
Genesis 3:1 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the garden?”
Satan is the master at making sin come across as pleasing, beautiful, and brings freedom to fulfill the inner desires of our hearts which say that we are entitled to go after whatever we see and take from others what they have as well. He implies that God is strict, stingy, and selfish and wants to keep us from our freedom to pursue our hearts desires.
As the winds and rain of adversity continue to beat down hard on Bobby and me, we are on the mountain road of a seemingly endless war of anxiety and anger. We constantly are seeking, asking, and knocking at God’s Heavenly door for answers to our circumstances that are running down a slippery muddy mountain road heading straight for the cliff. We keep asking where are the brakes and how do we stop this moving disaster?
John 16:21 – A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.
When God let me know that I was pregnant with our second child, Bobby and I had mixed emotions. Our first child came into this world with several medical issues and some of those medical concerns were still being addressed. Not only were there medical issues with our first child, but our first child was only going to be fifteen months old when our second child was born.
Our first child required enormous amounts of attention because of his medical situation. My mother nor Bobby’s mother lived close so they could not help on a regular basis. By the time Bobby arrived home from work, I was beyond tired physically and emotionally.
God’s Word still applies to our lives even today. His Word reveals who we are and what we are not. There is nothing left out of God’s Word. We see the good, bad and the ugly.
Hebrews 4:12-13 – For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Several past Presidents of our wonderful country either said or implied that character does not matter.
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
God judges by faith and character not appearance. While most of us spend hours maintaining our outward appearance, we should be spending more time developing our inner character.
Our journey here on earth can be just a few years or our life can be over many decades. My dear caring, compassionate Uncle’s life’s journey here on this earth has expanded over eighty three years.
We can allow the storms and the deep dark valley experiences in our lives to make us bitter, resentful, unforgiving and hateful or we can allow the twists, turns, ups, downs, pains, disappointments and heart breaks to turn our hearts to God for Him to comfort us and in return use us to comfort others.
As our storm continues to blow the rain and wind from all directions, Bobby and I have a sure and stable GPS from God’s Word that gives us clear and precise directions no matter whether the rain and wind is causing us to steer forward or making us go through another detour.
Bobby’s Grandmother was a woman who weathered many difficult storms in her life. She was not an individual that pulled you up in her lap and wrapped her arms around you but she was an individual that said love in so many other ways.
God’s Word is amazing! The Word of God shows the good, bad and ugly of all humans. God hides nothing. He exposes the details of our strengths as well as the dirt and grit of our blemishes.
Ruth 1:20-21 – “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”
Recently, Bobby and I had an opportunity to answer a calling to the mountains. Our favorite place to go for that calling is Vogel State Park.
Vogel State Park is beautifully nestled at the base of Blood Mountain in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Blairsville, Georgia. The clear crisp streams, creeks, lake and waterfall brings a quiet calmness to our souls and reminds us that God is in complete control of our lives as well as His creation.
Lake Trahlyta and Blood Mountain at Vogel State Park