News from the front porch: Hidden blessings

We went to visit my father-in-law in Kentucky this past weekend. He is healing from prostate cancer, surgery for liver cancer, in which they removed half of his liver, and a stroke. Other than still being a bit weak, he looks great and has recovered.

This trip itself was nothing short of an adventure. We decided to take the trip by the directions of the GPS rather than one of the three normal routes we usually take. We traveled on roads we had never before taken on this 10-hour trip. It seemed to progress slowly and felt a little unsettling as there were no familiar landmarks. We were continuously vexed by the temptation to skip the new trip plan and jump on I-75 and I-40 and back in our comfort zone.

We drove up and down mountain after mountain enjoying the beautiful views as spectacular new scenery opened up before us.

Suddenly, in a mountain valley, we came upon an unusual white decorative concrete gated entrance with an inviting gate standing open with a sign beckoning visitors. As we went through the gate, we noticed scripture blessings on the lamp posts. We were incredulous as the view began to unfold before us. There were two huge mountains rising up on either side of the parking lot valley we were driving through. All the way up the treeless mountain to our right rose the Ten Commandments etched with large white concrete stones.

It was a breathtaking sight.

The mountain to our left had a staircase leading up to another beautiful view with scripture monuments all the way up. On the side was “The Psalms of Joy Garden” and a life-size replica of the garden tomb with the stone rolled away. Then there was an arrangement of flagpoles with a huge flag flying for every country in the world. When we took a picture of them from the ground we saw the poles were arranged in the form of a cross.

The caretaker told us that the Fields of the Wood Bible Park was built near Murphy, N.C., in the early 1940s, and the U.S. Air Force pilots took great encouragement from it as they flew over it on their way to fight in World War II.

Later, we went over the Cherohala Skyway that took us more than 5,000 feet above the Smoky Mountains for a magnificent 40-mile view of the Smokies that we had never before experienced in all our years of visiting North Carolina and Tennessee.

This trip contained many spectacular hidden blessings remarkable treasures that we would not have come across if had we not tried a new route and resisted the temptation to go back to our comfort zone.

I think this trip adventure was a little like following God’s plans for our lives. God’s leading is sometimes uncomfortable to us because his knowledge transcends ours. As long as we stay out of our comfort zones long enough to allow him to blow our minds with his incredible blessings, we soon find his plans fit us perfectly and are completely trustworthy. Even if the journey feels a little unsettling, there are blessings ahead we can only find by abandoning our human desire to control and understand everything and make way for our creator’s perfectly satisfying design for every season of our lives.

“I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Dianne Brady is an author and speaker and can be reached at gracekeeper@comcast.net.