Tuesday, December 6th
Please Read Isaiah 4:2-6
It is a long 12-mile walk from Thomas Knob Shelter to Lost Mountain Shelter along the Appalachian Trail in the Mount Rogers National Recreation area in southern Virginia. We awoke that Wednesday morning with a little dread as it was pouring down rain. Our First Regional Church Adventure Camp was indeed turning into an adventure. We headed out into the soggy grayness listening to the complaints of fellow campers. While Dan and I sang and told jokes to try to keep spirits up, wet socks and shoes and the cold water running down our faces into our clothes seem to have a much stronger impact in the opposite direction. At one point as we crossed a ridge at a bald, the wind was blowing at about 50 miles per hour as we cowered on the leeward side of a rock and tried to communicate what we were going to do next. Just as it was getting dark, we finally made it to the Lost Mountain shelter. We were soaked clear through. Wet clothes and sleeping bags hung by cords all over the shelter dripping onto what had been a dry floor. It was only the day before that we crouched into an empty space between some small bushes to gain protection from the intense heat of the sun. Now we were happy again to find protection from the rain by the walls and roof of a shelter.
The writer of Isaiah tells about a time when God would offer comfort from the elements: the heat of the sun and the protection from rain and storm. He uses the imagery of a heavenly canopy. I envision this canopy as God's love. Within its space we find comfort from the fast pace of life and protection from the storms life throws at us. This does not mean that storms will not happen or that we will not have struggles. It simply means that in the midst of life, we are surrounded by God's love.
As we enter into this Advent season, let us remember the gift of love God gave us in the person of Jesus that we might "have Life and have it more abundantly.”
Prayer: All loving God, Help me to see this day, your loving canopy that surrounds me, offering comfort from the many storms of life. Amen
Written by Rev. Stephen Bentley, Regional Associate Pastor