“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” ~ Psalm 19:1, NIVA brand-new Christian at age fifteen, I’d never attended a sunrise church service. Indeed, I’d never seen a sunrise. The Great Smoky Mountains provided me the opportunity.
Our group of sleepy pilgrims met an hour before the sun’s scheduled appearance. In the predawn haze we hiked a short distance down the road before crossing an open field. We left an irregular path of footprints on its dew-bathed grass. The group followed our guide as the terrain steepened.
Making our way up the narrow trail, we reached a clearing on the hilltop. After a short time of devotion, we silently awaited God’s colorful creativity. I’d heard others praise this moment as a unique, transforming adventure. I waited expectantly. I wasn’t disappointed.
God’s paint brush moved with flawless perfection. He streaked the sky with startling pinks and flaming reds to announce the day’s impending arrival. Yellow and orange spilled from His palette and flooded the landscape. The regal fireball peeked above the distant mountain’s outline.
Instantly my worldly concerns vanished and I experienced genuine renewing of the mind. I keenly felt the Lord’s presence and identified with John when he wrote “The word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory.”
I witnessed one of God’s great and glorious miracles of renewal that early morning long ago. Since then I’ve been privileged to enjoy other sunrises from mountains to seashores. But if I’m never blessed with the sight of another one, I won’t feel deprived. The memory of seeing my very first sunrise remains as detailed as if it happened this morning. Recalling that memory draws me closer to God and the knowledge of His omnipresence to sustain me.
Jo Huddleston is a multi-published author of books, articles, and short stories. Her debut novels in the Caney Creek Series are THAT SUMMER, BEYOND THE PAST, and CLAIMING PEACE. Visit with Jo and her books at her website www.johuddleston.com.
The Great Depression brings devastation but love’s triangle survives.
To escape his poppa’s physical abuse and their dirt-poor farm life, Jim flees to an imagined prosperous urban life where he can make his own choices, ignoring God patiently knocking on his heart’s door. Jim meets a girl and loses his heart . . . then meets another girl and loses his willpower. As the Great Depression approaches Southern Appalachia, he wrestles with social and moral dilemmas and makes a choice beside Caney Creek that will alter the lives of five people.