Weeks had been spent in research, meticulous notes had been made, and no detail was left from our scouting plan. Finances had been tucked away for this trip, and our expectations were high. A lot was riding on every trail, every wildflower, and every sunset that we could capture.
Our flight landed, we grabbed our rental car and headed towards Mt. Rainier. Each and every mile we continued to look at each other and say “shouldn’t we see it by now”. We pulled off onto an overlook and read the sign. Our hearts dropped. Somewhere in front of us stood one of the most majestic mountains in the United States, but there was no sign of it. All that we could see was thick smoke from forest fires raging north of us.
Disappointed, we drove back towards the Olympic Peninsula and while we did I heard Him whisper this to my heart: “This is how you think of me. Just because you can’t see Me, doesn’t mean I’m not right here where you left Me”.
Hard moments in life can dramatically alter our line of sight. One day everything is clear, blue skies, with the ability to see for miles and the next moment the smoke rolls in and blocks all visibility from what’s directly in front of you. Whether it’s that call from the doctor, a hard conversation with family, a curve ball thrown into your plans, resources all but completely drained, or going to sleep at night with nobody next to you.
Smoke that hides the Presence of God from us is usually accompanied with lies. God doesn’t care. He’s too busy. You’re not worth it.
Listening to those lies is as foolish as thinking that Mt. Rainier changed locations.
Here’s the point: Just because you can’t see or feel God, doesn’t mean He’s moved. Your situation may be clouding your eyes from seeing His Presence, but I promise you He’s right there next to you.
Acts 17:27 says“…that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us”.
There’s something beautiful about finding someone by feeling your way towards them. You find them by touch, by sound, by reaching. God is wanting us to go through that very same process to find that He’s closer than you realize. Sometimes its just a matter of us reaching out our arms and listening.
Hold to that truth, friend. Together let’s remember that even when our eyes can’t see, and our hearts feels dry, He doesn’t change. He can’t be moved, and nothing could ever stop His love for you.
As the last day of our trip rolled around, we never did see Rainier. However, I did have the opportunity to sit in a field of flowers with a deer. We can arrive with our expectations only to find our plans completely altered. When we step into the world where we feel our way towards God, we’ll never miss out on a unique encounter. We may go back to the place we last saw and experienced God, only to find that He’s waiting for you in an entirely different but equally as magical place.