This time of year is always exciting for me as a deer hunter as opening day is fast approaching. Little did I know, however, that God would open my heart to seeing Him more clearly as I made preparations for the upcoming season.
When you get out into the woods for the first time before the season for scouting and getting ready there’s often a lot of work to do.
It is still hot and humid where I live so I am quickly reminded that I normally work in an office environment and I’m not as young as I used to be.
My oldest son and I recently went to make some appropriate field preparations and before the day was done I had the blisters to prove it. We hiked to the spot we had hunted last year, scouted around, and broke up some ground to plant winter grass.
After we finished breaking up the ground, we decided we needed to hang a ladder stand on a tree which would overlook what we hunters like to call a “cattle trail.” That’s just a trail created as deer walk through the area which becomes worn down. We found the tree and secured the stand to it.
Then it was time to do some clearing in the surrounding area so that we could see the paths better. Someone sits in the stand and gives direction while the other person cuts tree limbs and cuts the undergrowth. This process can take a long time.
Tree limbs are usually higher than you can reach to clear the path so sometimes you have to get creative (especially if you forgot to bring the right tools). At one point we even had to tie a saw to a tree limb with a ratchet strap to reach higher limbs.
We worked on the tree limbs and undergrowth for a while taking turns sitting in the stand giving directions while the other was on the ground cutting limbs and undergrowth. Finally, we had a good clear line of sight in both directions. When a deer comes by, we’ll see it clearly.
This is where I felt the still small voice of God urging me to apply what we had done out in the field to something bigger and more important.
Looking up into the tree stand it was easy to envision God Himself being seated there as I stood looking up at Him. I could easily see Him directing me in trimming away the things in my life that blocked a clear line of sight to Him as I walk the paths of this world.
Psalms 16:11 says “You make known to me the path of life, in your presence there is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” God always makes the path known to us if we have cleared away the things that prevent us from seeing as He does.
The things in this life that distract us from God are just like those tree limbs.
We all need God’s voice of wisdom to help us clear away those things that prevent us from seeing Him and His will. Even if it takes more time than we wanted and we’re getting blisters from the work.
Just remember that 1 Peter 5:7 says you should cast your anxieties on Him because God cares for you.
When we do follow His guidance, we will clearly see God and the paths he has set before us (Jeremiah 29:11).