R&R and a Special Surprise at Cades Cove

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Cades Cove fall colors

Romans 1:19-20 ESV: “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Do you ever feel like you just have to get away from it all RIGHT NOW?!

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    That’s how I was feeling a few weeks ago. I just had so many things coming at me all at once, and I was craving some time alone with the Lord. I wanted to get AWAY.

    It was Thursday and the fall colors at Cades Cove–part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, only a 3-hour drive from our house–were forecast to be at peak that weekend. There just happened to be two camping spots left for Friday night only at the Cades Cove campground, and I got one of them just in time! Thank You, Lord!

    We went up to the Cove Friday night. (I admit that we might have stopped for some pizza and a hot apple dumpling with ice cream on the way!) I planned to stay at the tent, rest, and have some time with the Lord on Saturday morning while Bruce drove the Cades Cove Loop road and did some photography.

    The fall colors were incredible on the road to the Cove, and were especially amazing at the Cades Cove Campground. (I can’t comment on the trees in the Cove since I never went past the entrance to the Loop!) It was a tough decision to stay at the tent, because I knew the Cove would be beautiful and bear activity was high. I REALLY wanted to see a bear! But I could sense the Lord drawing me to stay with Him, so I sent Bruce off without me, and I’m so glad I did!

    Cades Cove fall colors, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    The first thing I did was to take a nice long walk through the campground. The colors were blazing. I just stopped in front of several trees and stared up for long periods of time. I could see the glory of God reflected in His creation. The way the light shone through the leaves was amazing. It was like the trees themselves were screaming out the beauty of Jehovah! What an Artist He is! It was an awesome time of sensing and seeing the presence of God in nature.

    After my walk, I settled down in our tent for some quiet time with the Lord. We had an awesome time together in the Word. Several hours later (although it seemed like only a moment), Bruce came back and was all excited. He said there was a bear in a tree just down the road from the campground. Did I want to see it? Ha! You bet I did! We got there as fast as we could, and found this little guy:

    Black bear in tree in Cades Cove, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    He was about 75′ up in a tall tree, just hanging there in the crook where the branches met the trunk. He (or she) was so neat!

    Isn’t it cool that I gave up what I wanted to see (a bear) so I could see Someone better (the Lord), and He practically brought the bear to me? What was also funny is that my husband told me the very best fall colors were in the campground–the same trees that I admired on my early morning walk!

    God is so good… and I felt so rested, peaceful, and inspired after my time of R&R out in nature with Him!

    Have you ever given up something for the sake of the Lord, only to receive even more than you ever expected in return? I’d love to hear about your experience if so! Leave a comment below!

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