As I write this, my husband and I are having a get-away 50th anniversary celebration in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. One feels a certain serenity in these beautiful Smokey Mountains, a sense of the majesty of our great Creator.
We came here several times through the years and often brought youth groups to conferences. Now here we are—full circle. We tend to reminisce on such occasions. I’ve considered how faithful the Lord has been to us in these years through many productive times and in those difficult life challenges.
Great is thy faithfulness, oh God, my Father. There is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not. As thou hast been, thou forever will be.
Great is thy faithfulness, great is thy faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided; great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.
I came across an article the other day that so fit this topic. It came from the Glendale Star (a newspaper, I presume.) When I picked it back up, I smiled when I saw where it took place. Note the location.
A small congregation in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains built a new sanctuary on a piece of land willed to them by a church member.
Ten days before the new church was to open, the local building inspector informed the pastor that the parking lot was inadequate for the size of the building. They would not be able to use the new sanctuary until the church doubled the size of the parking lot.
Unfortunately, the church had used every inch of their land except for the mountain against which it had been built. In order to build more parking spaces, they would have to move the mountain behind the church.
Undaunted, the pastor announced Sunday morning that he would meet that evening with all members who had “mountain-moving faith.” They would hold a prayer service asking God to remove the mountain from the back yard and to provide enough money to have it paved and painted before the dedication service.
That evening 24 of the 300 members assembled for prayer. They prayed for three hours.
We’ll open next Sunday as scheduled,” said the pastor. “God has never let us down before, and I believe He will be faithful this time, too.”
The next morning there was a loud knock on the pastor’s study door. When he opened the door, a rough-looking construction foreman appeared.
“Excuse me, Reverend, I’m from the construction company over in the next county. We’re building a new shopping mall and need some fill dirt. Would you be willing to sell us a chunk of that mountain behind the church? We’ll pay for the dirt and pave the area free of charge, if we can have it right away.
The little church was dedicated the next Sunday. There were far more members with mountain-moving faith on opening Sunday than there had been the previous week.
~ Joyce ~