”Who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth, who makes grass to grow on the mountains? He gives to the beast its food, And to the young ravens which cry. He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord favors those who fear Him, those who wait for His lovingkindness.” — Psalm 147:8-11
I have often heard it said that our view of the Appalachian Mountains out here in Camp Creek is the most beautiful one in our entire county. In all their majesty, they are a special gift from God just to me.
How beautiful are my mountains and how mysterious! How many times have I seen the utmost of God in the differing scenes displayed there? Sometimes the view is so clear that it thrills the very soul. Often as I sit, words just cannot express the beauty so generously bestowed upon me and I can only sigh and marvel at the works of God’s hand. It’s been that kind of a spring this year.
One morning years ago, I was listening to the story of a dear friend who had related that he felt the Lord was trying to show him something, but he felt as though he just couldn’t quite see it. He knew it was there, but, just couldn’t quite touch it.
As I was listening to the story of this beloved brother, I couldn’t help but notice how the clouds and mist had settled over the mountains, blocking only the view of the higher peaks and giving a clearer view of the closer ones. Those higher peaks appeared now and then through the mist, almost as an illusion.
As I reflected on this view, it occurred to me that often our view of God and even our faith is just that way. We become dependent on what we can see and understand clearly, forgetting that sometimes, God’s voice is small and still; only speaks when we are believing with blind trust; trust that is reaching through the mists of unbelief, pain or doubt; grasping and hoping for things yet to be revealed; knowing they are there as if seeing them with the senses.
Yet, we can see! We can see with the power of the Spirit who dwells within! We can see with the faith that believes in things unseen and the hope that never limits God.
That is how it is with prayer as well. I have often heard people use the popular phrase, “prayer changes things.” When the Scriptures are searched, though, as I have said many times, the truth is that God always has a plan. He knows our prayers before they even leave our lips or our hearts. God is sovereign, unchangeable and immutable. His plans for us do not change as a result of our prayers.
But our prayers do effect much. They cause our hearts to commune one-on-one, intimately with our Savior, bringing our desires, our hopes, our wants and our needs in line with God’s desires and will for our lives. That’s why the Bible says, “The effective prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)
God doesn’t always answer our prayers immediately and sometimes his answer is “no.” Sometimes we struggle over our desire to hear from God. Does it seem like he is in the mists of your life right now? For a time, dear one, your mountains may be fogged over; hope may seem impossible; despair may have set in. The answers you long for may seem not far off, but, just on the other side of the trials you’re having.
But, wait. Mists and clouds often cover my mountains, especially when the evening comes and when the new day dawns. I know that if I wait long enough, the mist and clouds will eventually evaporate off and my mountains will once again be clearly and fully revealed. It has happened every time. And, that is how it is with God.