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Freycinet National Park is home to Wineglass Bay and the Hazards, an iconic mountain range resting between Coles Bay and Wineglass Bay. With its crystal blue water, white sand beaches, pink granite peaks and wildlife, Freycinet is an idyllic photographer’s delight.
“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)
“I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.” (Psalm 38:15)
Oh, how I wanted a beautiful photograph of “The Hazards” in Freycinet National Park!
My family and I were taking a 6 day trip to Freycinet, and my main goal was to capture a shot of the Hazards and Wineglass Bay from the summit of Mt. Graham. Mt. Graham lies beyond the far end of Wineglass Bay and can be reached via a (30 km (18.5 mi)) 2-3 day backpacking trip on the Freycinet Peninsula Circuit. This was my second attempt to capture this shot because my first attempt was ruined by burn-off haze and poor weather.
With high hopes I loaded up my 28 kg (62 lb) pack and headed out on another 3 day trek around the lovely Freycinet Peninsula Circuit. After 5 hours of hiking, the final 3 of which were up, 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 my camera settings, all of a sudden in my peripheral vision I saw a massively thick cloud bank rolling in off the Tasman Sea behind me. Much to my dismay, I turned around to see Mt Graham and Mt Freycinet rapidly being swallowed up in cloud.
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, “Do I finish setting up the shot and try to capture it before I lose it in the cloud? Or do I make a dash for the wet weather gear and save my equipment?”
Painfully, I chose to forgo the shot and save thousands of dollars worth of camera gear instead.
It then proceeded to rain on me for the next 13 hours straight.
And the cloud completely 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 as the rain came down upon me, quite unexpectedly, so did the strong presence of the Lord.
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.
I could do nothing but wait on the Lord to provide me another opportunity.
On the final morning of our six day trip, I headed out to Coles Bay, hoping to get just one shot of the Hazards, but it was still enshrouded in cloud down to 200m (650 ft).
Ironically, I had also come to these same rocks at Coles Bay the previous year to capture this shot, but despite God giving me breathtaking skies, technical difficulties with my camera landed me a less-than-breathtaking photo. I was very disappointed not only to have lost such beautiful skies but also because finding more spare time to get out to Freycinet was so difficult for a full time mum managing a full time ministry.
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 a single shot of the Hazards this entire trip because of this cloud. Will you please lift it and reveal the Hazards at sunrise for me? I really want to show your magnificent Creation to the world.”
Then I waited on the Lord…
Just as the sun was rising, God answered my prayer and graciously opened up the clouds for a brief 10-15 minutes, long enough 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 wanted to see them, and 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 to see them. Clearly, my earnest desire to see the Hazards still outweighed my setbacks and frustrations.
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 which were hidden from me, so God will also reveal himself to those who diligently seek him.
This is because God promises every single person:
“’…then you will call on 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 true, 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.
Read many other stories of how other people from around the world met God.
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). Furthermore, God promises that “…whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37)
God earnestly desires each one of us to come 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.
“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)
“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)
“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)