The next day the season's first snow blanketed the reds, oranges, and yellows that God had splashed all over the hills and valleys.
What a surprise for tourists like us - and for those who lived there, since snow doesn't usually fall in Tennessee/North Carolina in mid-October! For John David and I, it was an unexpected bonus to an already-wonderful week. Although rain had fallen most of the week, our spirits had not been dampened nor was our sightseeing hampered too much. But on our last day to experience the awesome beauty of the spectacular Smokies, we had hoped that the day would be clear and sunny for our last drive up the mountains into North Carolina. So, we were just a tiny bit disappointed when a cold drizzle was the forecast for the day.
Nevertheless, we decided to drive up to Cherokee to visit the farm museum. Needless to say, we didn't know that God had a huge surprise for us up on the mountain . . . even better than sunshine and colorful mountainsides! We had not driven too far when a few snowflakes began to fall . . . and we were as excited as little kids at Christmastime! The farther we drove, the more the snow intensified . . . along with our excitement. When we arrived at Clingman's Dome, which is 6000+ feet in elevation, the atmosphere was electrified as vacationers tried to take in the unbelievable beauty - some in their shorts and many, like us, wishing for warmer clothing!
It was a magical time and one that we will long remember. I like to think that God looked down from heaven with a smile on His face and delighted in sharing His awesome creativity with us. It was a simple thing for Him to cover the beauty of fall with snowflakes in all shapes and sizes. (I'm reminded that no two snowflakes are the same!) And I believe He enjoyed turning our disappointment into joy and our last outing into an unforgettable experience. It was a perfect ending to a special week . . . almost like an early Christmas gift! Without a doubt, every good and perfect gift is from above . . . just like the snow!
And speaking of surprises: No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him. Now that's one surprise I'm looking forward to . . . when rainy days and disappointments are forever gone . . . when I climb the last mountain . . . and soar to heights unknown!
"I can only imagine . . . I can only imagine."