God is constantly at hand, but sometimes the distractions of life and the world obscure his presence.

Like many of us, Jim Davis says he feels closest to God when out alone in His creation. Jim recalls a particularly powerful connection one summer while working as a ranger intern at Yosemite National Park.

The job working with tourists visiting Tuolumne Meadows paid only room and board, but his off days were priceless. “It was the best job I ever had. When I had my weekend, which usually fell midweek, I went on backpacking trips,” Jim said.

One weekend he embarked on a 50-mile overnight hike that led him past Mount Davis. Amused that he and the rocky peak shared the same name, he decided to climb to the top. And then the sun began to set.

“I realized I wasn’t going to make it down so needed to find a place to sleep on the mountain. I kind of wedged myself in a bunch of rocks and got as comfortable as I could and went to sleep,” Jim said.

He had forgotten his circumstances and location when he awoke in the middle of the night.

“There was nothing but stars overhead. I looked to the side and saw nothing but stars. I looked to the other side. Same deal. I was totally awe struck,” Jim recalled. “I felt literally like I was in heaven talking to God without words. It was one of my most memorable life moments, being their totally alone and just knowing in my core that God was in control.”

The next morning Jim awoke to an incredible sunrise coming from the east off of Mono Lake. “The water was shimmering. I felt incredible beauty and peace,” Jim said. I knew at that moment that no matter what life’s obstacles were, that beauty and peace was always available to me in my relationship to God.”

Jim is a member of the Mariners Church Steering Team.

By Dan Page, Volunteer Storyteller