“God said, “Let the earth put forth grass, seed-producing plants, and fruit trees, each yielding its own kind of seed-bearing fruit, on the earth”; and that is how it was. 12 The earth brought forth grass, plants each yielding its own kind of seed, and trees each producing its own kind of seed-bearing fruit; and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:11 CJB)
When my Abba Father requests alone time with me, I gleefully oblige. Usually this includes hiking so I can talk to Him un-interrupted, undistracted, and in the process He can clear the clutter out of my mind. May 26, 2020 was one such day. I headed to the Smokies, despite knowing the weather forecast and was met with a lot of traffic and a steady rainfall. Yet, I trusted He would clear the way; I waited for a break in the rain so drove for a while. I felt as though He wanted me to drive up the mountains a bit so made a pit-stop at Sugarlands Visitor’s Center, then went on my way.
I hadn’t driven through the upper elevation of the Smokies since January 2017; Adonai sent me to Gatlinburg alone to minister to local residents after the fires. During that visit I hiked Alum Cave trail and one has to pass Chimney Tops trailhead when coming from Gatlinburg to reach it. Chimney Tops is the site where the fires were reportedly started. It was a devastating sight because the two close peaks were literally charred to the rock. Even the light surrounding the Chimney’s was eerily dark despite the beautiful and warm winter day.
I believe somewhere within I did not want to experience that vision again.
Today as I approached the two peaks, which tower above the road, tears welled up in my throat. The sight and the memory was just too much. Chimney Tops was bursting with new life yet there were dark outlines of charred trees remaining. This is when Abba began talking to me. He drew my attention first to the new life growing in abundance, then to the individual trees that stood out – black – against the brilliant hues of green. The trees are scars that remain “for now”, He said.
As I stared up at the mountains, I recalled the word Adonai shared with me back in 2017 during that visit – I didn’t share it with another living soul. He brought that word back to mind when this “pandemic” shut the mountains down in March of 2020. I’ll share this much…He never ever intended for so much chaos to reside in this sacred place. In His beautiful mountains. It seems no one here understands why He allowed such devastations to occur.
The Spirit of Adonai is present
Despite the downpour, the parking areas for the Chimney Tops trailhead was packed. therefore, I couldn’t stop to snap a photo on this day. As I drove on, the higher up I reached the more severe the weather grew so I decided to turn around and head back down the mountain to Little River Road. As I approached the trailhead for Laurel Falls I heard Abba say, “Here!” I pulled in and thankfully there were parking spots. This trail was very busy (the falls are one of the more popular attractions with easy access) but at least the rain was on a hiatus. I had wanted to mark this trail off my list so why not on this day! I knew it to be a short, easy trail so grabbed my poncho, slid my keys and mobile phone into my pockets, and left my backpack in the SUV. It was nice to be without any extra weight for once!
The abundance of life that welcomed me was a much needed breath of fresh air. The rain of course gave everything a freshening up. I took my time. I took every thing around me in, deeply and captured it with my mind’s eye and camera as best as I could. I stopped at every available vantage point to take in the views of the mountains peaking through the trees. These things were more exciting to me than the waterfall awaiting on at the top. I was grateful for the heavy canopy of leaves overhead as rain began to fall once again. It was so refreshing. Abba knows that walking in the rain rejuvenates my spirit.
I emerged from the trail feeling new. Washed clean. Loved and heard.
“Adonai said to Moshe, 2 “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘When you have come into the land where you are going to live, which I am giving to you, 3 and want to make an offering by fire to Adonai — a burnt offering or sacrifice to fulfill a special vow, or to be a voluntary offering, or at your designated times, to make a fragrant aroma for Adonai…” (Numbers 15:1-3)
What Abba showed me on top of the mountains as I drove past Chimney Tops, as the memory of past events overcame my senses, was the scars that presently lie on the surface of my own life, will soon be overtaken by new life. Starting today, just like those charred trees, all that has provoked and hardened me will fall to the ground and new forms of life will overtake what was lost. Those many charred pieces of wood will produce abundant life for years to come across the mountains. The events from my life over the past several years have now been burnt up like a sacrificial offering to my most gracious Adonai. My life has been continuously covered by the blood of the sacrificial Lamb and all has been atoned. I am anointed with oil and Frankincense and am a sweet aroma in His nostrils.
My life, heart and soul, have been further purified by the fire called down like that of Elijah the Prophet, to show the false prophets who his God is!
As much as I know I do not deserve His mercy, I whole-heartedly receive it. I yearn for and beg for the purification, so I can start this brand new season of life as a new creation, with and for Him, always!
I felt the power leave me
“As he went, with the crowds on every side virtually choking him, 43 a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, 44 came up behind him and touched the tzitzit on his robe; instantly her hemorrhaging stopped. 45 Yeshua asked, “Who touched me?” When they all denied doing it, Kefa said, “Rabbi! The crowds are hemming you in and jostling you!” 46 But Yeshua said, “Someone did touch me, because I felt power go out of me.” 47 Seeing she could not escape notice, the woman, quaking with fear, threw herself down before him and confessed in front of everyone why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.” (Luke 8:42-47 CJB)
With every season of tribulation I walk though, upon coming out the other side, my spiritual senses are heightened. The gifts of discernment and the prophetic, sharper than before. This time was no exception and such “changes” in me are not easy simply necessary for me to operate fully in His gifts. Since the start of the Spring Feasts of Unleavened Bread and Passover, I have had to deal with life changes and relationships. A shedding and rebuilding; a deeper sense of “yes” and “no” where people coming and going are concerned.
Several people desired to enter or reenter my life as I was walking through to the other side; what happened to me during this time of entrances was very surreal and hard to describe. The Holy Spirit/Ruach HaKodesh gave me the verse from Luke (above) to help me understand what was occurring. No, I am not comparing myself to Messiah nor I am going into detail but something transpired within me, with each person, that was very uncomfortable and unexpected. Regardless, I was grateful the Holy Spirit was laying so heavily upon me, directing my attention to things I needed to be immediately aware of.
A new beginning
As Shavuot began this evening at sundown, it ends the Passover season and begins the celebration of the giving of the 10 Words of Adonai to Moshe (Moses) at Mt. Sinai. But it also marks Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was sent to dwell within the disciples of Yeshua after he ascended to his place in Heaven. This season gives us dual reasons to celebrate, to be glad!
‘Passover represents “God with us” (עִמָּנוּ אֵל), as the Word made flesh, and “God for us” (אֱלהִים לָנוּ), as the sacrificial Lamb of God, but Shavuot adds another dimension by representing “God within us” (אֱלהִים בְּתוֹכֵנוּ), the indwelling Presence, the “breath of God” that forever abides in our hearts.” (Hebrews4Christians.com – Facebook page).
It is a most joyful occasion that I can only pray is as much of a blessing to me and our home fellowship group this year, as last, while we gather together in one accord, worshipping and giving glory to our Savior – the Messiah. I can truly say I would be lost without Yeshua/Christ Jesus, and am so grateful I’ve had His wisdom and strength to rely on in such a time as this. Amen!