The other day I went to the dentist office for a routine check up. So that you have some thing to look at while in the chair, they have gone out and got several beautiful landscape posters and mounted them on the ceiling. That day the poster above my chair was a picture of El Capitain in Yosemite Park. This brought back a flood of memories about what was is some ways the worst day in my life and also my best day in my life. Let me explain.
Sharon and I had been working towards becoming full time missionaries with an international ministry. We were having some trouble raising funds and personality issues with one higher-up. We had gone to California for training with the ministry and had taken an evening flight. That night, the higher-up had tried to call us before we left and let us know that they no longer wanted us as missionaries, but he missed us because we were already on the airplane, so we got a message to call them ASAP. Because of weather issues we did not land in California till Midnight west coast time, way to late to call back to the east coast, so we called after we got up the next morning and played a little telephone tag till about noon. Because we wanted to be fresh for the conference, we took an evening flight that was supposed to arrive at 10:30 pm two days before the conference so we would have a day off to rest from the long flight and jet lag. We were about an hour away from Yosemite Park and neither Sharon nor I had been there before. So we decide to take a little drive. Before we got out of the city the call came in and we pulled off the road to take the call and we were let go from the ministry. Needless to say, we were devastated. We sat in shock for several minutes then it was several more minutes of crying and screaming. Sharon wanted to back to the hotel, but something inside of me said no, we are so close and we have never seen Yosemite that we need to go instead of sitting in the hotel all afternoon brooding. Sharon agreed but it was a long quiet ride up there. I was praying all the way, trying to think what to say to Sharon.
We finally got up there, and we went to see the giant red wood trees 1st. You just cannot describe them. They are enormous, beautiful and unique all at once. We were both in awe of them, we walked around just a little to see several of them. There was a trail of about two miles to go see the largest one, (which is incredible because the small ones are enormous) but we decided not to because it was cold up there and the air was thin, what little walking we did was a chore. We then drove back towards El Capitan. This drive is breathtaking both in scenery and narrow, winding road. Just before you can see El Capitan there is a long tunnel through a mountain, then, boom--you come out and see El Capitan and the other wonders of Yosemite. It is just awe inspiring. I half way expected to hear angels singing the Hallelujah chorus, it was that astounding. We must have stopped there for half an hour just looking. Then we drove on further in and saw Bridal Veil Falls. This is just an awesome experience. We got out and walked to within a few feet of where the water plummets into the canyon floor and we could feel the spray. As we were walking back to the car from this sight Sharon grabbed my arm and said “How can anybody see all of this and say there is no God?” That is when I knew why we were there, God know we were going to get let go, but wanted us to know that he was still in charge. That is why God put in me the need to go on to Yosemite, it was His way of comforting us and just showing us how great He is.
Yosemite will always be one of my greatest memories and part of it is because of the pain and how God took it away. This reminds me of the 23 Psalm and what God promises us there.
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.