For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways, they will lift you up in their hands. Psalm 91:11,12
With a low groan I forced open my eyes, and the familiar dimensions of my Montreat College dorm room focused into view. The clock beside my bed said a little after 10:00 p.m. Fumbling for my glasses, I heard my best friend softly snoring in his sleeping bag on the floor beside my bed. Eddie had come up from NC State to visit for the weekend. We were college freshmen and best friends. That much I remembered. What I didn’t know was what we were doing back in the dorm room.
Fifteen hours earlier, Eddie and I had decided to go hiking. We had first walked around the campus, but Montreat wasn’t that big.
“Any trails to the top of the mountain?” Eddie gazed up at the mountains that surrounded Montreat.
“Sure.” And without another thought, off we went. It was a beautiful winter Saturday at the little Christian mountain college outside of Asheville. The sun was shining, and it was warm. Eddie and I took off up the mountain trail in just our light windbreakers.
After a hard push up to the ridge, Eddie and I fell into the easy conversation of old friends. We had been virtually inseparable through four years of high school, but having gone to separate colleges we had a lot to catch up on. We hiked and talked, and the hours slipped away.
Hiking upward, under the tree canopy, neither one of us noticed the temperature falling, or the clouds moving in. Nor did we keep track of time. Our trail eventually crossed the old Mt. Mitchell Toll Road, and breaking into the open out from under the trees, it was the first indication we had that the weather had changed. The sun was gone, and with it the warm day. It had turned bitterly cold. Dark gray clouds hovered. We realized it was late afternoon, and there was no possibility we’d find our way back to the college before dark. And then, right on cue, it began to snow.
We had no choice but to push on toward the Blue Ridge Parkway, and hope for a ride back to the college. Eddie and I trudged through the snow to the Parkway. But when we reached it, there were no tracks in the snow that covered it. The Parkway was closed because of the weather. There would be no cars and we were in trouble. We were alone, on the highest mountain east of the Mississippi, in a driving snowstorm, in already wet tennis shoes and windbreakers. Worse… no one knew we were here.
With no other alternative, we kept hiking. Soon we reached the large stone sign that proclaimed the entrance to Mt. Mitchell State Park. We were exhausted and cold. The snow was inches deep. There was a small ranger cabin at the entrance. I suggested we break in to get out of the snow, but Eddie had another idea.
So we did.
Eddie sat on one side of that granite Mt Mitchell State Park sign, and I sat on the other shivering uncontrollably. The snow piled up around us. And we prayed… fervently.
And God heard us. I have an impression of a light streaming through the snow, with the individual flakes sparkling in its brightness, a warmth coming over me, and dropping us deep into sleep…. waking in my dorm room.
I don’t know the mechanics of what happened in between. I don’t need to know, and probably wasn’t meant to know. I DO know my Father heard my prayer, and Eddie’s (who also remembered nothing), and He rescued us. An angel came and lifted two careless young men out of a snowstorm off of Mt. Mitchell, and deposited them safely back in their home.
Our Father always hears us. Always. He guards us without question. No matter how great your problem, give it to Him.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia.org
Kevin Spencer lives in Tennessee with his beautiful wife Charlotte and grandson Caleb. He is a staff writer for ChristianDevotions.us. A former prodigal son, Kevin is now trying to use the gifts God gave him, and by the grace of God has a life far better than he ever deserved.