God’s Classroom in the Great Smoky Mountains

Classroom, image mine, design by Adobe SparkA classroom comes in many forms.

I see myself as a life-long student. Training classes, the learning curve for a new job, ministry and leadership seminars, writing conferences, spiritual retreats, and Bible studies include some of my favorite ways to learn…to take in new knowledge.

God’s Classroom 

But, how do you imagine God’s classroom? Is there a white board? What about globes, pictures of the world or His students? Does He give hall passes and wait on tardy students for important lessons?

I’ve written about the mountains before. Yet, if you follow this blog, you know I give student reports from the mountains, the beach, an amusement park, or life events and experiences.

Each a classroom where God taught me valuable lessons.

So this week I traveled with two friends from high school to the Great Smoky Mountains (Gatlinburg, Tennessee) for our annual girls trip. Four nights provided the perfect getaway for fun, shopping, and good food and conversation.

But the trip also supplied time to rest from the daily grind and hear from God on matters of the heart. And, of course, I came back with a student report.

Classroom Lessons

(1.) God’s Word reminds my heart of truth.

The Great Smoky Mountains are also called The Smokies. So if you’ve ever visited the area, you know why they carry this name. A misty haze forms at various peaks and valleys.

Likewise, whether I’m on a mountain peak or traveling through the valleys of life, a misty haze often forms Classroom, my image, design by Adobe Sparkover my heart, too. And it blocks God’s truth.

You see, I recently walked through a fog-laden valley. And the path turned dark. Not able to see ahead or where to go, I wondered how to find my way out.

But Scripture always reminds my heart of truth during valley experiences.

One of my favorite Bible verses for sharing the gospel message of Christ. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 ESV.

Jesus spoke these words to the disciples after He said this, “Let not your hearts be troubled” John 6:1a ESV.

Christ is the way to salvation. But He’s also the truth we cling to in troubled times.

#Truth guides my way through the valley. #Bible Click To Tweet

Lessons from God’s Promises

(2.) God’s Word reminds my heart to trust.

My friends and I stayed in a cabin on top of a mountain, complete with a wonderful view. In the same way, I prefer to visit and stay on the mountain tops in life. No one likes to walk through the valley.

But the valleys often cause us to look for the Lord to be our daily companion, our sustenance, and our lifeline. As we walk through the valley, the mountain peaks remain visible. When we look up, we remember God is with us both on the mountain and in the valley below.

“You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” Joshua 23:14b NIV.

Do I know with all my #heart that God’s good promises never fail me? #Bible Click To Tweet

Classroom, Image belongs to me, design by Adobe SparkTrusting in God’s promises help me fully experience the mountain top, complete with a wonderful view of God’s glory. And they help me navigate through the valley as I trust God’s victory lies at the end of the winding road.

Back to God’s Classroom

Perhaps our imagination of God’s classroom isn’t too far off track. Since God formed the world, He displays His glorious creation on every wall. We also find our portrait, complete with our name and a loving description of His fondness for us.

And maybe during the valleys or times we wait on God to move in our life, it’s His version of a hall pass. But He wants us to come back to class for the spiritual lessons He teaches us in every season of life.

God’s classroom contains a white board—my heart. He wants to write His truth on my heart and never erase it.

“Guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” Proverbs 7:2b-3 NIV.

Do you trust God with all your heart? Do you believe His promises never fail?

© 2017 by Karen Friday, All Rights Reserved

Read the 2015 post from my girls trip, What God Taught Me in the Mountains.

Images are mine of The Smokies. Text and design by Adobe Spark.

Post part of these link ups: Salt & Light, Crystal Twadell/Fresh Market Friday, Crystal Storms/Heart Encouragement, Meg Gemelli/GRITupAndGoSuzanne Eller/Living Free.

September 14, 2017 at 10:29 am | Uncategorized

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Leslie says:

I love the Smokies! We just got back from a trip recently that was the best one yet. And nature was my favorite classroom as I went through our homeschooling journey. It still is as I continue to research and hunt wildflowers every spring. Thank you for this post!

Karen says:

Leslie, thanks for commenting. And, yes, nature has a way of pointing us to the heavenly Father’s glory and truth. Blessings!

Marie says:

I am aware of God more poignantly in the Smokies than anywhere else I’ve visited. I think it’s time to go back. Blessings to you and yours! Marie

Karen says:

Yes, Marie, you should go back. So beautiful there and the fall is the best time to visit. Thanks for stopping by.

Karen, God’s classroom is my favorite. After I have my Bible reading time, I often take my prayer time out on “the road” when I jog in the mornings. It’s like God takes me on a field trip 🙂

Your post makes we want to visit the Smokie Mountains! And how wonderful that you have those close friendships to enjoy God’s blessings with.

Karen says:

Thanks, Beckie. This made our 7th year for our girls trip. It’s always so much fun. Your field trip jogging with God sounds great. I like how He speaks to us in the classrooms of life and uses aspects from our daily lives to teach us spiritual lessons. 🙂 Blessings!

BettieG says:

I wrote about lessons from the fog today as well! I love when God confirms His word to us like that! He truly is so trustworthy, on the mountaintops, as well as in the valley. Blessings to you!

Karen says:

That’s neat, Bettie. Thanks for sharing. Yes, the truth of Jesus Christ guides our way through the dense fog when we can’t see where we’re going. So grateful for the work of God’s Word in our lives no matter what we face. Appreciate you stopping by and commenting. Blessings!

Meg says:

Proverbs 7:2-3 is one of my very favorite versus. I want to be marked up, scribbled on, corrected, and finally brought to a more mature draft with each passing year. I love the visual of the mobile classroom surrounded by the glory of His creation. Bravo!

Karen says:

Thanks, Meg. Me too! I desire for the Lord to continue to make me more like Jesus in every lesson He teaches me. I’m so glad He doesn’t grade on the curve but tenderly tutors each of us individually for personal spiritual teaching. Hugs!

Bob and I were going out to eat dinner last night. A good rain had fallen and water was deep in the gutters on the road. All of a sudden our whole windshield was covered in water and he was driving blind…there was absolutely no way to see. He slowed down but it felt like several minutes before the water cleared. It was very scary. A car had driven through water that caused us to be covered. When we don’t trust God we are driving blind…but if we do trust him he clears the way every time. Amen this was awesome 🙆 Karen.

Karen says:

Thank you, Marla. And thanks for sharing your story of driving blind. That’s a great analogy. It’s so hard to use our spiritual eyes to allow our hearts to trust, especially when we can’t see on ahead. I told the Lord in the past that Hebrews 11:1 bothers me. “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” I don’t like the unseen or when I can’t see where to go. But God’s teaching me that just like in times of dense fog or blinding rainwater, He’s guiding me because He DOES see on up ahead. It’s where we can place our trust and where our faith lies. Hugs!

Just a huge “Amen” for this post, Karen! He is just as much with us in the valleys as He is on the mountaintops. God knows our journeys and our paths, and is with us every step of the way.
Our favorite place to vacation is in the mountains (near the Smokeys) to reconnect with God and each other. But there is a physical valley we must traverse in order to get there. With God’s presence, I will rejoice in both the low lands and the heights.
Thanks so much for the inspiration!

Karen says:

Martha, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Yes, so true, we must go through the valley to even get to the mountain peaks. Grateful God keeps His promises. “You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed” Joshua 23:14b NIV.

I could just picture your girl’s trip! What fun they are and especially when you can take time to ponder God and His creation. I love using the outdoors to foster application from His Word. Great reminders here Karen and thanks for sharing the fruit of your trip with us 👍

Karen says:

Thank you, Gretchen, for commenting. Yes, the great outdoors, especially the mountains seem to bring us up close and personal with God’s creation and majesty. Grateful for my girls trip every year and also for God’s truth that guides our way. Christ is the way to salvation. But He’s also the truth on the mountaintops and the truth we cling to in troubled times. Blessings!

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