Hazards Sunrise from Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park, Tasmania

Hazards sunrise photo taken from Coles Bay, just outside of Freycinet National Park, Tasmania. Tasmanian landscape photograph of sunrise over the Hazards with a wave washing over orange rocks in the foreground. The Hazards have morning mist in front of them.

TASMANIAN WILDERNESS LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES

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“I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.” (Psalm 38:15)

“This is what the LORD says:’…For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the LORD…” (Jeremiah 29:10-14)

Oh, how I wanted a beautiful photograph of “The Hazards” in Freycinet National Park! (“The Hazards” is the mini mountain range that, along with Wineglass Bay, makes Freycinet National Park on the East Coast of Tasmania so iconic).

I had come to these same rocks the previous year to capture this shot, and despite God giving me breathtaking skies, my inexperience behind the camera landed me a less-than-breathtaking photo. I was very disappointed, not only because I had lost such beautiful skies but also because finding more spare time to get out to Freycinet as a full time mum with a full time ministry was so difficult.

All I could do was wait on the Lord to provide me with another opportunity…whenever that might be…

On this trip a year later we had allotted six days to Freycinet National Park, and my main goal was to capture a shot of the Hazards and Wineglass Bay from the opposite direction, from the top of Mt Graham. This was another photo I had failed to capture during my previous trip due to burn-off haze and poor weather.

So I loaded up my pack with 28+ kg (62+ lb) of gear for a second time and started out for another 3 day trip over the Freycinet Peninsula.

When I finally arrived on the top of sunny Mt Graham I began setting up the shot I had come all this way to capture. As I was adjusting things, all of a sudden in my peripheral vision I saw a massively thick cloud bank rolling in off the Tasman Sea behind me. I turned around to see Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet rapidly being swallowed up in cloud.

Noooo!!!

I only had about a minute before my shot would be totally obscured by cloud and my camera and I would be drenched! In the sunshine, I had left all of my wet weather gear and waterproof bags for the camera equipment on some rocks about a minute away. I had to make a split second decision, “Should I finish setting up the shot and try to capture it before I lose it? Or should I make a dash for the wet weather gear?”

Painfully, I chose to forgo the shot and save thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment instead.

It then proceeded to rain on me for the next 13 hours straight…and the cloud enshrouded the entire Freycinet Peninsula for the next 5 days.

Despite all of my massive efforts to capture this shot, it was gone…again…

But there was an unexpected, strong presence of the Lord that came upon me at the same time the cloud did.

Amidst what would normally be great disappointment and discouragement I strangely felt encouraged and comforted by the Lord in my spirit as the rain began to pour down. I didn’t understand why the Lord had allowed me to expend so much precious time and energy for nothing (photographically speaking) or why, despite three straight weeks of perfectly sunny weather, he had allowed a five day long cloud to come at literally the last second and steal my very hard-sought-after shot.

All I could do was wait on the Lord to provide me with another opportunity…whenever that might be…

It was just before sunrise on the last morning of our six day holiday. The Hazards were still enshrouded in cloud down to less than 200m (650 ft). This was my last chance to capture them for this trip.

I set up my tripod in the waning darkness and waited. Despite the massive cloud in front of me, I cried out desperately to the Lord, “Please, Lord, I haven’t been able to get any shots because of this cloud. Will you please lift it, and reveal the Hazards at sunrise for me? I really want this shot to demonstrate your magnificent Creation.”

Then I waited on the Lord…

And to my great delight, just as the sun was rising, he answered my prayer and opened up the clouds for a brief 10-15 minutes for me to capture this photo. Then, just as quickly as the cloud had broken, it redeveloped and the Hazards were once again obscured in a cloud–but I had gotten my shot!

Back on my computer I was gazing at the Hazards in this photograph, and all of a sudden, like a lightning flash, God spoke directly into my heart about this entire experience:

I really wanted to see the Hazards, and despite my many setbacks, and despite the cloud obscuring them for many days, I kept seeking that clear view of them. I was willing to put in the extra effort amidst multiple disappointments and discouragements, the discomfort of a heavy pack, walking for days and getting up before sunrise just too see them. Clearly, my earnest desire to see the Hazards outweighed my setbacks.

Likewise, there are many people who seek God but haven’t seen him or met him personally yet. They may have gone through many discouragements and setbacks in their efforts to find and know God, and many fall along the wayside because they do not desire God strongly enough, but all those who really want to know God and who earnestly seek him will find him, and he will reveal himself to them. Just like God answered my earnest prayer and revealed the Hazards to me, so he will also reveal himself to those who diligently seek him.

This is because God promises every single person:

“‘…call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I WILL be found by you,’ declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 29:12-14 [my emphasis])

This promise is the absolute truth, for God is perfectly faithful and cannot break his promises.

I remember many years ago when I was once a very frustrated person: I wanted to know God personally, but I didn’t know him yet. However, after a few months of earnestly asking God to reveal himself to me, he finally answered my prayers. He saw me seeking him with all of my heart, and he faithfully kept his promise and revealed himself to me.

(Read my story of how I met God here).

(Read the personal accounts of many other people around the world and how they met God here).

(Meeting God is not something we can invoke or cause to happen ourselves, for God himself, of his own sovereign will, chooses to make himself personally known to all those who earnestly seek him, in accordance with his unbreakable promise.)

“All that the Father [God] gives me will come to me [Jesus], and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)

Thankfully, God earnestly desires for each one of us to know him and to see him and to continue in a loving, personal relationship with him. The greatest revelations God has given us of himself is through his Son, Jesus, and through his Word, the Bible.

(Read how to enter into a personal relationship with God here.)

(Find answers to questions about God here.)

I will never stop praising the Lord that he heard and answered my heart’s cry to know him and to see him and to be with him.

Don’t ever give up seeking him. You WILL find him when you seek him with ALL your heart. That’s God’s promise to you.

Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8)

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (Psalm 130:5-6)

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us…” (Acts 17:24-27)