Newfound Gap is nestled between Cherokee, North Carolina and Gatlinburg, Tennessee and was our destination on a cold winter day. We were headed for Charlie’s Bunion-a rock edifice dangling on the edge of sheer cliffs.
In addition to my daypack, I carried pepper spray in my pants pocket. A steep iced over decline preceded our destination. Leaving the trail, we picked our way carefully through the thick forest but not before a burning sensation on my leg caused me to transfer the pepper spray to my coat pocket.
After enjoying our destination, we returned to the parking lot and visited the restroom. I splashed cold water on my face expecting refreshment but received burning and blindness instead. Stringent movements over the rough spots made the pepper spray leak. What was on my hands was now in my eyes.
Rough spots can blind us, leading us to doubt God’s presence and concern. In such times, God tells us what he told Cyrus the Persian king: I will go before you and will level the mountains (Isaiah 45:2).
Walking on life’s rough spots is never enjoyable. Watching a child or spouse board a plane headed for war, losing a job, weeping as a loved one is lowered into a cold grave, hearing the doctor say “It’s cancer.” Add the typical responses of anger, depression and resentment, and we can quickly be blinded to God’s involvement.
But God cares and travels before us on the rough spots. Faith in him levels mountains of pain that seem impossible to climb. What appears impregnable is not when God’s in control. What is blinding you to God’s presence? Wash it away in his grace.
Prayer: Merciful Lord, when the rough spots appear, wash away our doubt and fear with the water of Your grace.