Finding God in the Smoky Mountains

Thomas Kinkeade - In the Woods


There is a Thomas Kinkeade gallery near our home, and my wife and I often stop in to gaze at the beautiful paintings. My favorite has always been one entitled In the Woods, which depicts a peaceful little cabin nestled deep in the woods surrounded by tall trees and a bubbling stream. Each time my wife catches me staring at it, I whisper, “I want to live there.”

Which is why, in celebration of our 6th Anniversary this month, Janelle planned a trip for the two of us to fly over to Tennessee and spend the weekend in a beautiful cabin hidden deep within the Smoky Mountains. For a few incredibly sweet days, I was able to live out my dream. What an amazing wife I have!

We took a helicopter ride over the mountains, rode a zip-line across a gorge, and woke up each morning to sit on the deck with a cup of tea and watch the sun rise over the hills. It was one of the most peaceful and relaxing times of my life, and was the perfect time for Janelle and I to spend time talking with each other and also listening for God’s still small voice.

One morning, I sat gazing at the incredible beauty laid out before me. As the pink blush of sunrise, the cool mountain air, the endless rows of wise, old oak trees, and the sweet music of chirping songbirds took my breath away, I happened to turn to Psalm 29, where I read the following:


“The voice of the LORD is powerful,

The voice of the LORD is majestic,

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars…

and strips the forests bare.”

Psalm 29:4-5a, 9b


This passage gripped my heart that morning. I was spellbound by the vast forest spread before my eyes, but I have the opportunity to find something far more rich, and far more beautiful, every single day. Each time the LORD speaks to me, His voice is sweeter than the songbirds, more refreshing than a mountain breeze, and powerful enough to make those overwhelming acres of forest look like absolutely nothing.

I had an unforgettable vacation this past weekend, and an even more unforgettable encounter with God. Sadly I wasn’t able to bring the Smoky Mountains home with me (though they’ll always hold a special place within my heart). But hearing the voice of God? That’s something I’m able to experience every day. Isn’t that an incredible thought?

What are we waiting for?





Our Mountain Cabin View


7 thoughts on “Finding God in the Smoky Mountains

  1. That sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate a special occasion, as well as a timely reminder of how amazing it is that we get to communicate with the Creator of all things … and if that doesn’t just boggle the mind and spirit, then I don’t know of anything that can! Happy Anniversary to you and your wife! Wishing you many more years of happiness together!


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