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The beauty behind the smoke

A devotion on trusting God's beautiful plan

I recently returned from a bucket list trip to Glacier and Waterton National Parks. At one point in the trip, our group made our way to Waterton, Canada. As we traveled, we were promised we would see incredible scenery as the unmatched Canadian Rockies reflected in the clear lake that was beside our hotel. The long bus journey would be worth the view. Anticipation levels were high. 

As we reached our destination and piled out of the bus, we all rushed to the expansive deck to get a view of what was to be amazing beauty. Little did we know that as were making our journey, smoke from the Canadian fires had poured into this town and our view was completely obscured by the smoke. We could see the lake and shadows of some lesser mountains, but the grand view promised wasn't there and the mountains were hidden from our view.  

As I stood on that deck, I listened as members of our group began to respond in different ways. 

Responses included: 

  • Disappointment that even led to anger
  • Apathy that sounded a lot like cynicism
  • Self-reliant action and problem solving 
  • Gratitude for finding the beauty even with the smoke
  • Persevering trust that the mountains were still there and hope that the smoke would move out quickly

Their responses reminded me of my own response when things in my life are unclear and I can’t seem to see what God is doing or where he might be leading. But all the while, behind the “smoke” is the beauty of God’s promises fulfilled. 

While I wait for the “smoke” to clear, I can be disappointed, angry, apathetic, cynical, self-reliant, defeated or I can be content and see the beauty in his presence wherever I am and continue to believe the promises, trusting and hoping in him, the One who is always present, always faithful and always sovereign. 

Once the “smoke” clears, I can be sure that the beauty will be more than I could ever ask for or imagine and that it will be worth the wait! 

By the way, less than 24 hours after our arrival to the deck, the smoke cleared, and the view was spectacular! The mountains had been there the whole time in all their glory. What joy it brought to see them clearly! 

“In the same way we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face to face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now.” - 1 Corinthians 13:12

Written by Jane Ann Crowson, associate director of compliance for Buckner Retirement Services.

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