The following series of devotionals are taken from Dr. Tim Miller’s book, Seasons of Reflection. You can find out more about Tim’s ministry and order the book by visiting www.disciplethenations.com.
My family and I lived in West Virginia for five years. One of my hunting buddies took me to his favorite “honey hole” located in the northwest region of the state. To say the area was mountainous would have been an understatement. This particular county was known for its large whitetail bucks and bear populations. It was early autumn and the leaves were a spectacular site. Colors of every hue could be seen as the sun woke up the sleepy darkness.
I was hunting with a recurve and hoped to bag a decent deer on this early morning. However, the temperature was in the teens and about ten o’clock, I had to get down from my ladder stand and warm up. I was walking along the top of a ridge and noticed several scrapes as well as other deer sign. Since I had been hunting in my friend’s stand, I didn’t have my climb on stand. Therefore, I started looking for a natural place downwind of the major scrape to hide my scent as well as my silhouette. About twenty yards from the scrape was the trunk of a very large tree. The tree must have fallen many years before for all of its limbs had long since rotted and disappeared. All that was left was the trunk which was half rotted as well. In fact, there was enough room to lie down inside the tree since the top part of the butt had been eaten away by insects and decay. There was just enough room to wallow out a space large enough for my entire body. With a little rearranging of decaying bark, I was able to make a small shelf to rest my neck upon. I placed my bow across the top of the log perpendicular to the trunk. The only part of my body in plain view was my head, which was camouflaged by my toboggan and face paint. After relaxing for a few moments, the bright afternoon sun warmed things up and I dozed from noon to around three o’clock.
My deep sleep was interrupted by the sound of crunching leaves - a sound I had heard many times before. I knew exactly what to expect. When I wormed my way into the log, it never dawned upon me I might see a bear. Flatlanders like me are not used to having such possibilities. I never imagined I might need to get out of the log in a hurry or climb a tree. If it was a bear, I prayed my face would be ugly enough to scare him away. At the very least, the bear was surely not acclimated to logs screaming threats in shear terror.
Suddenly the suspense and mind games were over, I looked slightly to my left and saw a fat six-point buck. He placed his nose directly into the scrape and without thinking I raised up from the log and in one fluid motion released my cedar shaft. I could see my shaft flying in slow motion toward the buck’s vitals. I heard that familiar “thump” arrows make when they connect with their quarry. I had made a good hit and watched the buck closely as he bounced out of sight. I have lived that hunt a thousand times since it occurred. Without a doubt, it was one of my most memorable hunts. There is nothing like taking a buck with a bow from the ground, especially when the only blind used is natural cover.
Challenge: Many of us guys spend a lot of time hiding. We hide from ourselves, our wives, our friends, and most of all from God. When is the last time you took a hard look at who you are? What is the total sum of your life? Do you like what you have become? What areas in your life need to change?
Thought: If you cannot live with yourself, how do you expect others to live with you?
“But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known, accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.” Luke 12:2-3
“Thou hast placed our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy presence.” Psalm 90:8
“Would not God find this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart.” Psalm 44:21
“…the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.” 1 Corinthians 14:25
Posted by Tim E. Miller