So yesterday was my day off. And like an idiot, I decided I’d start it off by waking up at 4am to go hunting with one of my students. I enjoy the outdoors very much and I enjoy Cameron just the same, but what I don’t enjoy is mornings. Not even a little.
It took a little convincing, but I found myself at 4:30am in the woods. We were going squirrel hunting, a first for me. And we were gonna take those squirrels and make some stew, again a first for me. I was outfitted in borrowed camo and was looking like a seasoned vet, if I do say so myself. But two hours into it, we hadn’t gotten a single squirrel. It was muggy as could be and my neck was hurting from looking into trees for two straight hours. The both of us were getting a little antsy and then something glorious happened. Rain. Man it felt so good! But we were under tree cover and not getting too much on us, so we decided to walk toward a clearing, just a little ways off. So we walk over and what would happen? The rain stops, the sun comes beaming in, and the millions of mosquitos around were alive with refreshed vigor. It wasn’t exactly going how we had planned.
So we just stood there for a moment and chatted. I really like Cameron, so up to this point, it was my favorite part of the day. And just then, amid our loud talking and laughing, out comes a trio of little deer. Not babies, but not more than a couple years old. They had no idea we were there. They hopped out and just kinda hung around. And we just stood there, talking about them. It was like nothing we could do would alert them to our presence. Finally, when they were about 25 yards away, I took out my phone and started taking pictures and videoing. Only then did they finally take notice and head out, after the whistling of the mother who was hiding in the woods.
It was such a cool experience! It was so sudden and unexpected. For a moment, it was almost like Eden. We just stood in this beautiful clearing, surrounded by green, and hung out with these little deer who had no reason to run. It was like all the world was at peace.
We hunted for a few more hours after that, even had a little success. I had a blast that day! Turns out I enjoy squirrel hunting. But what stood out most to me that whole day was that 45 seconds with the deer. This little gift God gave us, completely out of nowhere.
And it occurred to me later, that’s just kinda how God is. We make all these plans and in our busyness never stop to consider anything but our own will. And sometimes things don’t go our way and we get a little frustrated. But out of the blue, God gives. Have you ever had that experience? Like we had these small plans to make something happen. And only after these small plans don’t work out does God reveal He had something better planned all along.
It’s almost like He knows what we need better than we do…
I read the other day that something like 90% of the information we process and take in is based off what we see with our eyes. And I think about all the things in the world I can’t see with my eyes. The billions of people I’ll never know, the places I’ll never visit, the lessons I haven’t learned, the ideas that I’ve never been introduced to… and suddenly my view seems really small. Like I’ve only taken in the tiniest percent of what this world has to offer. Suddenly, I feel like I know so little and my capacity is so limited. And yet, I make plans that must be strictly adhered to. And if anything goes wrong, not only is everything ruined, but God didn’t come through for me.
For the last 32 years, God has used opportunity after opportunity to teach me to trust Him. To learn that His way really is better. Because His plan for us doesn’t include limited information. His plan has nothing to do with what I can observe and what I can plan. God’s understanding is beyond measure. His capacity is completely unlimited. He knows our thoughts, our desires, and our wishes. And He also knows our weaknesses, our pitfalls. He knows what’s going to happen all over the world tomorrow. He knows how each and every movement in this world will shape and effect each and every person. He’s never taken off guard, never surprised, never at a loss for what to do next. Suddenly His plan doesn’t seem so bad. Suddenly the decision to trust Him more than myself seems not only logical, but a no-brainer.
So when things don’t go my way, how do I respond? Do I get irritated, like I’ve been put off or harmed? Or do I rest in the knowledge that God’s got this; that His infinite wisdom has created an infinitely greater plan? I have learned over & over and will continue to learn that God is worthy of my trust. That if I wait on Him, I may not get my way, but I’ll get something much better: His way. In every moment, in every situation: God is God and God is good.