Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains in eastern Tennessee always brings to mind various Psalms I memorized long ago. Those earliest verses are from the King James Version, of course. (I tried my best to get my mother to read another version, but her reply: “If it was good enough for King James, it’s good enough for me!”)
Psalm 121, for example. My favorites are the first two verses and the last:
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth….
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Or Psalm 19:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
More recently, and directly addressing the Great Smoky Mountains, I discovered Psalm 104, in which several verses apply. Verse 10: He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.
Verses 31 and 32: May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works— he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
Hiking through the majestic mountains, surrounded by many shades of green, listening to the clear water rushing over the boulders and pebbles, I can’t help but be awed by God’s creation. Some years there are more wildflowers than others; this year, not so many. But we can always find trails near water, from a tiny stream “pouring into the ravines” to a mighty waterfall, cascading from tall boulders.
Every spring when Steve wants to go to the Smokies, I think I’d like to go somewhere I haven’t visited before. But then, when we are there, I understand his desire to walk those mountains. I see the value in looking up to the blue sky, down to the pebbled path, across to the tall, straight trees that seem to point directly to God.
We are both more reflective on our lives—past, present, and future. The rushing waters are a metaphor for our lives rushing past. In our fifty-first year of marriage, we are acutely aware of how quickly time passes and we want to nurture each moment and treasure our time both together and with loved ones.
God’s glory is reflected in his creation, but also in his people. Thank God for the beauties of nature and for my dear and precious family and friends!